Collingwood Magpies
Based inMelbourne
Home venueJohn Cain Arena (10,500)
Silverdome (4,000)
Head coachNicole Richardson
Co-captainsAsh Brazill, Geva Mentor
Vice-captainKelsey Browne
LeagueSuncorp Super Netball
2023 placing8th (last)

The Collingwood Magpies were an Australian professional netball team in Melbourne that competed in the premier domestic league, Suncorp Super Netball. The team was founded in 2016, during the disbanding of the ANZ Championship. The Magpies were owned by the professional Australian Football League entity, the Collingwood Football Club. The team's home games were predominantly played at John Cain Arena. In May 2023, news reports disclosed that the team was in financial distress, and later that month the Collingwood Football Club announced it would withdraw its netball team at the conclusion of the 2023 season.[1]


Following the dissolution of the trans-Tasman ANZ Championship competition in 2016, Netball Australia announced the creation of a new national netball league, which would feature the five original Australian teams and three additional teams. In May 2016, Netball Australia confirmed that the Collingwood Football Club was one of three preferred license holders for the new teams.[2]

Collingwood Magpies Netball was launched in September 2016 at the headquarters of the Collingwood Football Club, the Melbourne Sports and Entertainment Centre. The new team had a distinct logo, different from the football team, though a few years later the club elected to unify the logo with the football team.[3] Speaking at the launch, club president Eddie McGuire stated, "This team is not an add on to our [football] program by any stretch. It has its own identity, its own high performance unit in its own right and our strategy is to get the best people and best players possible."[4]

2017–20: Early years

The Magpies debuted in the 2017 Super Netball season. For the inaugural season, Madi Browne was appointed team captain under head coach Kristy Keppich-Birrell.[4] The Magpies entered the league with a star-studded squad of former and existing Australia national team players, thanks mainly due to significant financial weight backing the team. Consequently, the Magpies were widely tipped by pundits to win the league.[5] However, the team finished the regular season fourth (out of eight teams) on the ladder and lost their elimination final to Giants Netball by one goal.[6] In the following season the Magpies struggled for wins and consistency. Prominent defender Sharni Layton announced her retirement and the club elected not to extend the contract of coach Kristy Keppich-Birrell, replacing her with former Swifts coach Rob Wright at the end of the season.[7] Wright oversaw the signing of new players Kelsey Browne and Geva Mentor among others, and the Magpies returned to finals, though were defeated by local rivals the Vixens in the elimination final. The following year the Magpies won only one of their fourteen games in the COVID-19-impacted season. Co-captain Madi Browne departed from the club and Rob Wright's tenure as coach ended.[8] Wright was replaced by former Diamond and Magpies assistant Nicole Richardson as the new head coach.[9]

2023: Financial distress and notice of withdrawal

Facing just three finals appearances from seven years in the league, the club's performance both financially and on the court came under intense scrutiny during the month of May.[10] Netball Australia promptly announced it would be negotiating with interested parties for the eighth licence for a 2024–26 window.[11]

Collingwood CEO Craig Kelly said the financial difficulties faced by Netball Australia and the fact there is currently no collective player agreement and team participation agreement for the 2024 season were the reasons behind the withdrawal.[11] The club played its final match on 17 June 2023 at the Silverdome in Launceston, upsetting the league's reigning premiers West Coast Fever by three goals in a game that doubled as the final domestic appearance for club stalwart Ashleigh Brazill.[12]



The Magpies' primary home court was the 10,500-capacity John Cain Arena. The club also played one or two home games a year at the Silverdome in Launceston as part of an agreement with the government of Tasmania.[13] Throughout its time in the league, the Magpies also played some home matches at Margaret Court Arena and Bendigo Stadium.

List of captains

Collingwood's inaugural captain was Madi Browne, who led the team to a finals place in the inaugural season. The club became the first in the league's history to appoint co-captains, when English international Geva Mentor was appointed alongside Browne in 2019.[14]

Final roster

2023 Collingwood Magpies roster
Players Coaching staff
Nat. Name Position(s) DoB Height
Australia Ashleigh Brazill (cc) C, WD 29 December 1989 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Australia Kelsey Browne (vc) WA, C 17 January 1992 1.64 m (5 ft 5 in)
Australia Sophie Garbin GS, GA 6 April 1997 1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)
Australia Molly Jovic WA, C, WD 7 October 1995 1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)
Australia Maddie Hinchliffe WD, C 25 May 1998 1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)
England Geva Mentor (cc) GK 17 September 1984 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
Jamaica Shimona Nelson GS 1 December 1998 1.95 m (6 ft 5 in)
Australia Jacqui Newton GD, GK, WD 14 February 1997 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Australia Nyah Allen Injured GA, GS 7 March 2002 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Jamaica Jodi-Ann Ward GD, WD, GK 1 September 1994 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Australia Kelly Singleton (TRP) GA, GS 24 June 1998 1.8 m (5 ft 11 in)
Head coach
Assistant coach
  • Kate Upton

  • (c) – Captain
  • (cc) – Co-captain
  • (vc) – Vice-captain
  • Injured or on maternity leave – Injury / maternity leave
  • (TRP) – Temporary Replacement Player
Player profiles: Team website Last updated: 17 March 2023

Competitive record

Season Standings Regular season Finals Head coach
Collingwood Magpies
2017 4th 9 0 5 Lost Elimination Final (Giants, 51–52) Kristy Keppich-Birrell
2018 7th 3 1 10 DNQ
2019 4th 7 2 5 Lost Elimination Final (Vixens, 49–62) Rob Wright
2020 8th 1 0 13 DNQ
2021 6th 6 0 8 DNQ Nicole Richardson
2022 4th 6 0 8 Lost Elimination Final (Giants, 48–55)
2023 8th 4 0 10 DNQ
Regular season 36 3 59 0 Minor Premierships
Finals 0 0 3 0 Super Netball titles

Reserve team

Main article: Tasmanian Magpies

For the majority of the Collingwood Magpies' existence, the Tasmanian Magpies acted as its reserve team, holding an affiliation with the club from 2017 to 2020. The Tasmanian Magpies played in the Australian Netball League (ANL), the national second-tier netball competition, and were champions in 2018.[15][16] Following the collapse of the ANL due to cancellations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Collingwood announced it would field its own reserves team, also known as the Collingwood Magpies, in the new Australian Netball Championships, which were first held in Traralgon in August 2022.[17][18]


Club achievements

  1. ^ Playing as the Tasmanian Magpies in 2018

Best and fairest awards

Player Year(s) won Years active Ref
Kelsey Browne 2022 2015–present [19]
Ash Brazill 2018 2010–2023 [20]
Geva Mentor 2019, 2020 2005–present [21]
Caitlin Thwaites 2017 2002–2020 [22]
Jodi-Ann Ward 2021, 2023 2015–present [23]

See also


  1. ^ "'Incredibly difficult': AFL giants quit Super Netball". Retrieved 25 May 2023.
  2. ^ "Netball Australia confirms new eight-team division and bumper broadcasting deal". ABC News. 19 May 2016.
  3. ^ "It's more than one team, one sport, or one individual. It's our club, and your club. It thrives off our passion and commitment. Through highs and lows, we are one community, where everyone belongs. New Year. New Logo". Collingwood. Twitter. 13 January 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Collingwood unveil all-star contract list headed by Sharni Layton for new netball national league". Herald Sun. 21 September 2016.
  5. ^ "Super Netball: Collingwood lifts bar and tipped to dominate competition". ABC News. 18 February 2017.
  6. ^ "Super Netball: Giants roll Collingwood Magpies in nailbiting one-goal win". 3 June 2017.
  7. ^ "Collingwood Magpies Netball appoint Rob Wright as new coach". 7 August 2018.
  8. ^ "Collingwood Farewells Rob Wright". Collingwood Magpies. 29 September 2020.
  9. ^ "Richardson named Magpies coach". Super Netball. 20 November 2020.
  10. ^ "'Incredibly difficult': AFL giants quit Super Netball". Retrieved 25 May 2023.
  11. ^ a b "Journalist Caroline Wilson tears 'poor' Collingwood to shreds".
  12. ^ AAP (17 June 2023). "Magpies Netball stun West Coast Fever 65-62 in club's final game, Adelaide Thunderbirds beat NSW Swifts". ABC News. Retrieved 23 June 2023.
  13. ^ "Magpies head to Launceston". Collingwood Magpies. 1 February 2017. Archived from the original on 15 March 2019.
  14. ^ "Co-captains Robinson and Mentor lead the Magpies in 2019". Magpies Netball. 27 February 2019. Archived from the original on 27 April 2019. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  15. ^ "Tasmanian Magpies". Retrieved 25 July 2020.
  16. ^ "Tassie Magpies celebrate first DUANL title". 1 July 2018. Retrieved 25 July 2020.
  17. ^ "Australian Netball Championships to replace Australian Netball League". Collingwood Magpies. 2020. Retrieved 23 June 2023.
  18. ^ "Australian Netball Championships". Netball Australia. 21 May 2021. Retrieved 23 June 2023.
  19. ^ "Browne crowned 2022 best and fairest". Collingwood Magpies. Retrieved 5 July 2022.
  20. ^ "ASH BRAZILL". Collingwood Magpies. Retrieved 5 July 2022.
  21. ^ "GEVA MENTOR". Collingwood Magpies. Retrieved 5 July 2022.
  22. ^ "Thwaites Returns To The Vixens". Suncorp Super Netball. Retrieved 5 July 2022.
  23. ^ "Ward wins best and fairest". Collingwood Magpies. Retrieved 5 July 2022.