Collingwood AFLW star Steph Chiocci says she is expecting Carlton to target her newly elevated co-captain and former Blue Brianna Davey in Thursday night’s season opener.
Davey will on Thursday night become the first player to captain both Carlton and Collingwood when she meets her former teammates for the first time.
She played for the Magpies last year but missed the clash with her former teammates through injury.
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“I have no doubt some of them will get a little bit lippy and it will be really physical, but good luck taking Bri on I’d say,” Chiocci said.
Chiocci said her Magpies co-captain would be ready for anything on the night.
“She says she’s not too nervous but I think when she gets to Wednesday she’ll start to think about it, but she’s the ultimate professional,” she said.
“She’s represented Australia so if anyone knows how to cope with nerves, it’s her.
“And we’ll make sure we get around her, but we have 20 other girls on the park we need to make sure are ready to go as well.
“But Bri’s a professional and she’ll get through it no problems at all.”
The Magpies made their first AFLW finals series in 2020 before the season was cancelled due to COVID-19. They were knocked out in the elimination final and they’re still yet to win a final in four seasons.
“We think our best is good enough to be up there with the top teams, there’s no doubt about that,” Magpies coach Steve Symonds said on Monday.
“It’s just our consistency as we go along and how we put that together.
“So we’ve got no limits about what we’re trying to do.
“We’re just keeping it pretty simple. We just want to get better each week and see where it leads us.”
STAR FORWARD SENDS SCARE THROUGH BLUES CAMP
Carlton star Tayla Harris has been given the all-clear to play in Thursday night’s AFLW season-opener after leaving training early on Saturday.
Harris appeared to hurt her knee during a leading drill an hour into the Blues’ session at Ikon Park and headed into the changerooms after a massage on the back of her leg.
But a Carlton spokesman said the star forward was OK and would be available to face Collingwood at the same ground this week.
The AFLW was forced into some last-minute changes to the opening round fixture in response to border conditions, but the season-opener is set to go ahead as planned.
Harris, an All-Australian in 2017 and 2018, looms as a key figure as the Blues look to kickstart their campaign with a win against the Magpies.
Collingwood beat Carlton by 15 points in their most recent meeting in Round 2 last year.