New Pie challenges for top job

COLLINGWOOD'S AFLW boom recruit Brianna Davey is set to challenge inaugural skipper Stephanie Chiocci for the captaincy.

The Magpies will hold a "thorough interview process" and consider input from players, coaches and the board before locking in their 2020 leader before Christmas.

Chiocci, 31, has captained the Pies in each of their three seasons in the AFLW, while Davey, 24, skippered the Blues in her last two seasons there before sensationally defecting to Collingwood during the trade period in April.

Gun onballer Davey was a key member of the Magpies' VFLW premiership side, which benefited enormously from her leadership and direction.

New Collingwood coach Steve Symonds (pictured below) described the pair as "two really strong candidates" for the job, which is very much up for grabs.

New Magpies coach Steve Symonds. Picture: Getty Images

"We're going to be looking through our leadership group for next year. We're looking at the training track first to see who's sticking their hand up," Symonds told reporters at the Holden Centre on Tuesday, the day after the Pies started their pre-season campaign.

"We've been pretty open and transparent with the group that, even for playing positions, we're all at the starting line at the same time. It's a moment where we've drawn a line in the sand about where we are and we'll move forward from there."

Symonds, who is keen to lift the Magpies up the ladder after they were wooden spooners last year, said both players were strong leaders and would continue to be, regardless of their title.

"Steph's got great leadership qualities that we all recognise, she's a great human being, she's got a real caring nature and she wants to be successful, so that obviously puts her in a strong position to be a leader within our club," Symonds said.

"She still thinks that she's got elements of her leadership that she still wants to improve on. "

Collingwood's Stephanie Chiocci leads her teammates onto the field during the 2019 season. Picture: AFL Photos

Of Davey's claim's to the captaincy, Symonds said: "She's also a good, quality leader, she's strong on standards, has a real internal belief, which passes onto the group as well, and she's a quality person – above all else she brings that quality to the group."

The coach was also excited to regain the services of another emerging leader in Chloe Molloy, who has returned strongly from a serious Lisfranc injury in her right foot that sidelined her for the last AFLW season.

Molloy, who was part of the VFLW triumph, ran well in a 2km time trial on Monday night.

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"She looks really confident …  she's really determined to have some success and is pretty keen to help drive that," Symonds said.

Symonds, who coached men for 14 years in the SANFL before spending three years setting up Norwood's successful women's program, relocated from Adelaide in July when he joined the club's VFLW campaign.

He said the Pies would play a more up-tempo game style that suited their playing stocks, and forecast some tweaks in defence and attack.

The Woods have booked a pre-season camp for the last weekend before Christmas but are keeping the destination secret for the time being to keep the players guessing.

The Pies will kick off their season against West Coast at the club's spiritual home at Victoria Park at 1.10pm on Sunday February 9.