Kristy Keppich-Birrell has praised the depth of her squad following the Pies’ first win of the season.
Collingwood coach Kristy Keppich-Birrell has praised the depth of her squad following the Magpies’ first win of the season on Saturday.
With mid-courter Kim Ravaillion missing the round three clash with a knee injury, the Pies injected Shae Brown into the centre position, whilst also calling upon one of their training partners in Kelsie Rainbow.
“We have a really great program where we have 17 players who can all take the court in the Magpies’ outfit,” Keppich-Birrell said after the Pies defeated the Adelaide Thunderbirds.
“Rav is a really important part of our team and we definitely missed her on Saturday, but we know we have a team full of players who can step up and play the role that is required.
“Our depth within our squad is amazing and it gives us the ability to play different game plans against different opponents.”
Despite a slight re-shuffle to their starting seven, the Magpies secured their first victory of the season, defeating the Thunderbirds by 20 goals at Hisense Arena.
Brown, who spent the latter half of the 2017 season in goal attack, displayed her renowned versatility and endurance once again, lining up for the full 60 minutes in centre against the Thunderbirds.
“Shae was just phenomenal out there. Her ability to keep running and change her line of speed and create the depth on the court was really valuable for our team,” Keppich-Birrell said.
Working in tandem with Collingwood captain Madi Robinson in the mid-court, Brown recorded 22 goal assists and 30 circle feeds, while only registering four turnovers in general play.
“We have a number of players across the team who can fulfil different roles in different units, and Shae in particular, can run throughout the midcourt and the goaling circle.”
“We also have a number of our defenders, like April Brandley and Ash Brazill, who can push up into our midcourt, which gives us great flexibility.”
And while Tasmanian netballer and Collingwood training partner Kelsie Rainbow didn’t see any court action against the Thunderbirds, the call-up to the Magpies’ SSN team was another impressive achievement for the 21-year-old, who joined the program in January.
The Magpies will now turn their attention to the defending champions, the Sunshine Coast Lightning, who will be eager to secure their first win of 2018 at Margaret Court Arena on Sunday.
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