“The fact that we lost last week just gives that extra fire in the stomach.”
Collingwood will host expansion team Essendon at AIA Center on Friday at 3:10 p.m. following the AFL Men’s Grand Final parade at the MCG and Yarra Park.
Essendon’s attacker and former Magpie Sophie Alexander said the rivalry clash between the Bombers and Collingwood on Friday “has been a long one”.
“It’s so exciting that we finally meet. There’s always that rivalry between the men’s teams and hopefully that will show up in Friday’s game,” said Alexander.
The Bombers have had two wins and two losses, while Collingwood is in their seventh season, regularly making the finals and has lost just one game to the reigning Prime Ministers this season.
“We’re coming in as an expansion side, we don’t have any expectations, we play with that freedom and that’s probably why we’ve had those closer match-ups,” said Alexander.
“They’ve probably been in the top four for the past few years and so it’s going to be a pretty good test to see where we stand against a team that’s pretty established in this league.”
Meanwhile, radio and television sports journalist and broadcaster Kelli Underwood has won the 2022 AFL Football Woman of the Year award, presented by the Essendon Women’s Network.
Underwood took over the mantle of TV and media football personality Shelley Ware. Underwood is the host of ABC’s wingersa panelist on Fox Sports’ the back pagea commentator of men’s and women’s soccer on ABC Tribune and Fox Footy, and was the first woman to comment on a men’s AFL game on TV.
dr. Brooke Patterson, researcher from La Trobe University, a former AFLW soccer player who focuses on ACL injury prevention, won the Emerging Leader award, while Annette Maloney won the Community Award. She is deeply involved in community sport, including with the Port Melbourne Colts Junior Football Club.
Lisa Egan, president of the Essendon Women’s Network congratulated Underwood and said that, in addition to being a talented broadcaster, she has been influential in helping more women enter and thrive in the industry.
“Kelli is a pioneer and has invested a lot of time mentoring female broadcasters and journalists,” says Egan. “We are delighted to see her honored as this year’s Football Woman of the Year.”
Emma Race, Underwood’s runner-up for the award, praised her, saying: “It’s so wonderful to have the opportunity to celebrate the impact Kelli has had on football. She’s giving back to the game and investing in the next generation To me she is a hero.”