PIES SWOOP INTO HOBART FOR GIANT PRE-SEASON CHALLENGE

Tiarne Swersky - February 6, 2018

The Magpies have landed in Hobart ahead of their pre-season camp and it seems their week-long stay will be giant in more ways than one.

Arriving in the Tasmanian capital on Tuesday morning, the travelling party of players, coaches and support staff are set to be put through their paces before they take to the court on Friday evening against the Giants.

The team were set to head off to their camp straight from Hobart airport, and according to Magpie star shooter and Australian Diamond Caitlin Thwaites, the camp will challenge the team both physically and mentally.

“We’re excited to be back in Tasmania. We’re looking forward to spending a few days here,” Thwaites said after landing in Hobart.

“We don’t exactly know what we have in store for the camp, but we know we’ll be heading out to see some beautiful scenery and go for a bit of a hike.

“The idea behind these pre-season trips is to focus on that team bonding aspect. There will be the physical elements of the trip, but mentally, it’s a good opportunity to learn more about your teammates and the way we each operate. “

With the 2018 Suncorp Super Netball season kicking off in April, the Magpies are preparing to begin their fourth month of pre-season training.

With gruelling gym sessions and simulation court work forming a big part of their pre-season program, Thwaites revealed another strong focus has been team development. 

“Our pre-season has been really good this year. Last season, everything happened so quickly with creating the new team and the season starting in February.”

“This year, we’ve had more time to plan and put emphasis on team bonding. We’ve been doing a few non-conventional practices back home, in rock climbing and dancing lessons. That creates shared experiences amongst the group, which is important to us.

“These activities we’ve been doing translate on court and in a game day situation. To know how your teammates react and perform under pressure off and on the court can help bring the team together.”

It’s been a big week so far for Thwaites, after the reigning Magpies Netball best and fairest was one of four Collingwood players named in the Australian Diamonds’ Commonwealth Games team on Monday.

She joins teammates Madi Robinson, Kim Ravaillion and April Brandley in the team of 12 that will travel to the Gold Coast for the Games in April.

“I’m very excited. It’s a huge honour to represent your country and to be named in the Commonwealth Games squad. The fact that it’s hosted in Australia just makes it that little bit extra special.”

However, before Thwaites’ focus turns to the national team, she will take to the court on Friday evening when the Magpies meet the Giants in a practice match at The Derwent Entertainment Centre.

Head Coach of the Collingwood Magpies Netball team Kristy Keppich-Birrell said the match would provide a good indicator of where her team was at.

“It’s a good chance for the coaches and players to see what’s working and what needs to be worked on.”

“The practice match will be a good indicator for us. It’s a rematch of last year’s semi-final so it should be pretty exciting for the crowd.”

Tickets are still available to the Magpies-Giants practice match. Head to Ticketmaster or click here to book your seats now.

MAGPIES NETBALL v GIANTS NETBALL IN HOBART
Practice match at The DEC in Hobart, Tasmania
Friday 9 February, 7pm
Gates open from 4pm