Forward thinking: Is star Magpie set for a greater role in front of goal?

COLLINGWOOD coach Steve Symonds has already confirmed Chloe Molloy is set to play a greater role forward in 2021. Will co-captain Brianna Davey be joining her?

Davey started her AFLW career as an All-Australian defender, before making the switch to the midfield, where she has played the past few seasons.


But in the Magpies' practice match against North Melbourne, Davey spent long stints playing as a deep forward.

"You might see me up there a little bit. I think at the moment, with practice matches, they want to try a few things," Davey told post-match.

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"I'm not going to say I'm not going to be there, but what that looks like – a rolling rotation or being propped up there for a quarter – I'm not sure yet."

The Pies, who defeated the Roos by 12 points, rotated a cast of new players through during the practice match, having recruited five 18- and 19-year-olds.

Tarni Brown showed a clean set of heels in traffic, Bella Smith competed well up forward and in the ruck, but it was the inexperienced forward Amelia Velardo who stole the show.

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"'Meels' has only played three games of footy, today's her fourth. She's had a little bit of a niggle throughout pre-season, but today she just came out and hit the ground running," Davey said.

"She's from a basketball background, and you can tell on the field, she's strong and uses her butt and her legs really well to box out her opponent.

"She gave us a fair bit today and she kicked a couple of snags, and we always love that. Good kid, and a good footballer, and she's got a lot to learn seeing she's fresh to the game, but she's been awesome so far."

Collingwood's Amelia Velardo tackles North Melbourne's Jasmine Garner. Picture: AFL Photos/Getty Images

Davey is now in her second season at the Pies after sensationally crossing from Carlton, and is noticing a different mood around the club.

"There's a lot more belief in the group, and even though that's not football-specific, it goes a long way," she said.

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"When I came in, we had that lingering doubt over the group because those first three seasons didn't go to plan. But then when the season started, we hit our straps and got some belief into the group.

"This season, we really think we can be contenders and challenge teams in this League.

"Also being in our second year under Steve (Symonds, coach) and understanding how he wants us to play, and embracing that gameplan more, that's gone a long way to helping us too."

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Davey will become the first person to captain both Carlton and Collingwood on Thursday night. She served as the Pies' vice-captain in 2020, and is now co-captain with inaugural skipper Steph Chiocci.

"'Chewy' (Chiocci) has been awesome. She really embraced me last year, it was cool to work under her and Ash Brazill, the other vice at the time, just great leaders.

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"I learnt from them and brought fresh eyes into the group myself. I think we combined pretty well.

"We're going to take a united approach and go up to the coin toss together. 'Choch' reckons she doesn't often win them, so I think she's trying to pass the call onto me."

Collingwood co-captains Brianna Davey and Steph Chiocci pose at the team's official photo day. Picture: AFL Photos