Collingwood etched themselves into the history books Saturday when they recorded their first win for the Club in the inaugural AFLW Season and for captain Steph Chiocci, there was one emotion that she couldn’t contain post-match as she looked around the rooms at her teammates celebrating with their families.
(Steph Chiocci (right) celebrates Collingwood's Round Four win with Nicola Stevens. PHOTO: AFL Photos)
‘It’s just pride.’ Chiocci beamed.
‘We were up against it tonight, you know with the three losses, and I knew we had what it took to win games of footy and today we strung it together and I’m over the moon and really happy for the girls - they deserved it.’
Collingwood were on the board early as Mo Hope converted from a free kick to get the Pies going and despite trailing by three points at the main break, they kept the pressure on to limit the opposition’s scoring opportunities. The Western Bulldogs kept charging but it was a four goal third term that applied the scoreboard pressure the Pies needed to keep the Bulldogs at bay.
‘That third quarter we had the wind and we knew we needed to capitalise on that - you know they call it the premiership quarter for a reason! Fortunately for us we were able to put goals on the board. We knew they’d come at us hard in that fourth quarter and it was just about stemming that flow and luckily we were able to do so.’
The Pies had been under intense scrutiny leading up to Saturday night’s clash as they entered Round Four winless but Chiocci says the outside noise doesn’t distract from what they set out to do each week.
‘If I’m honest we don’t really read into any of that stuff and I know there’s been a lot of stuff in the media about few of our players and us as a football team but if you start reading that then it takes away from your own focus so we haven’t done that too much.
We haven’t felt the pressure because we know what we can produce is good it’s just a matter of doing it on the park and we had every confidence in each other to be able to do so and thankfully tonight it paid off and we look forward to Fremantle next week.’
Chiocci and her Pies will make the trip across the Nullarbor to take on Fremantle in Mandurah on Saturday morning and she’s says they are up for the challenge.
‘First and foremost we’ll look to recover well tonight and tomorrow and we’ll have a really solid week on the track and we fly out on Friday. It’s going to be nice and hot in Mandurah and we really look forward to that challenge. We travelled to Brisbane last week and it was a great experience for our players to get around each other and share a new experience in a new environment and I think we’re going to thrive up there.’.