2023 Season Review: Collingwood Reclink Football Team

24 Aug 2023

The Collingwood Magpie Community Football Team have had an outstanding season remaining undefeated as they look to secure their second premiership in a row.

Soaking up the opportunities the community program provides them, the team has been consistently improving on and off the field and are looking strong heading into finals.

Off the back of a remarkable season, the Pies look forward to playing in the Grand Final match on Wednesday, 30th August at ETU Stadium in Port Melbourne at 2:00pm against Geelong.

The Magpie Community Football Team play every second Wednesday in the Reclink Football competition and consists of people from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Players join the team for support, connection, and a sense of belonging and credit the program for its ability to deliver that and more.

The team has been going from strength to strength and are always welcoming new players. Throughout the 2023 season, coaches have selected over 13 new players to debut in three different matches which is a testament to the program’s ability to engage people who are in need.

Reclink seasons are like rollercoasters in the way that scores can change very quickly in a match. This was showcased in round nine against the Frankston Bombers where the Magpie Community Football Team overcame a three goal deficit at three quarter time to secure the win by only one point.

The Pies best performance came in round two against the Cardinia Tigers where the connection between the group enabled players to put together a terrific performance across all four quarters.

The team found the Co-health Kangaroos to be their toughest opponents during the 2023 season with a long history of close matches. Players and coaches at the Pies have great respect for the Kangaroos and the standard of program they run for their community and look forward to matching up against them again in 2024.

The strong connection the team has is attributed to the consistent efforts of Coaches Shane Williams and Daniel Wells in reinforcing effective communication and consistent encouragement between the group. The team also went to a Magpie ‘Side by Side’ team camp during round 10 which enabled the group to deepen their connection before heading into their finals campaign.

During the season, the Collingwood Football Club offers development opportunities and ‘One Club’ experiences to the team to further progress the program and player engagement. Notable opportunities have been being involved in the guard of honour during Sir Doug Nicholls Round which enabled certain players to celebrate their Aboriginal culture and heritage and receiving on-going coaching and assistance from AFLW players Jordyn Allen and Brianna Davey.

Heading into the Grand Final Series, the Magpie Community Football Team are relatively injury free with only one out in Nathan Cunningham with a season-ending ankle injury.

The 2023 season continues to see players achieving off the field which is a significant aspect of the program alongside their on-field participation. Many players have secured employment, increased their attendance at school, have enrolled in university, improved their general health, and are positively contributing to their local communities.

The team is excited and ready to play in the Grand Final match on Wednesday, 30th of August.

If you would like to attend, entry is free!