AFLW 2018 team preview and predicted finish: Collingwood Magpies

Joel Shepherd Roar Rookie

By , Joel Shepherd is a Roar Rookie

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    What follows may seem a harsh judgement on a team that grabbed Chloe Molloy, the most outstanding young forward in the draft, with the second Victorian pick.

    In fact, Collingwood’s entire forward line is outstanding, and probably the best in the competition. Moana Hope was injured last season and will be much better if she’s fitter, while Molloy, at her best, is a goalscoring machine.

    Jess Cameron is a solid mark and reliable kick, Sarah D’Arcy is an exciting small forward, and possibly all of them could be overshadowed by young Jasmine Garner, who shows signs of developing into one of the best leading targets in the game.

    None of which will help Collingwood if they can’t get the ball.

    The Pies lost their best midfielder, Alicia Eva, to GWS in the offseason. They’ve replaced her with Jaimee Lambert, who was injured at the Dogs last year, and is one of the best midfielders going when she’s fit.

    But after Lambert the ball-getting talent drops away sharply. If the Dogs can teach Collingwood anything, it’s that the difference between a good midfielder and a great midfielder, in this competition, is enormous.

    Jaimee Lambert is the only great midfielder on Collingwood’s list. Against the likes of Melbourne or the Bulldogs, she’s going to be outnumbered five-to-one or more in that department.

    The Pies should struggle to win stoppages and hold onto possession, and Collingwood’s forward line will be starved to death.

    The addition of the Pies’ second draft pick Darcy Guttridge on the halfback line will go some way toward replacing Nicola Stevens, but even if Guttridge is outstanding it’s a break-even situation.

    The Pies defence is good, but to transition the ball into the forward line, that defence will need midfielders they can get the ball to.

    If those midfielders are getting beaten all over the ground, it’s going to be a disappointing season for the Magpies.

    Prediction: 6th.

    In addition to his interest in sport, Joel Shepherd is a professional Science Fiction author. You can read more by him here.