Sport

Blues-Pies rivalry ready to fire up

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February 03, 2017

Team captains of the new Women's AFL league pose for photos with the AFLW ambassador Susan Alberti and winners cup.

Collingwood and Carlton have been fierce rivals for more than a century and it will be no different when the old foes kick-off the AFL Women’s competition.

Magpies marquee player Moana Hope believes the storied rivalry the men’s teams share is set for an exciting new chapter tonight.

‘‘We had our jumper presentation (on Wednesday) and they played a video showing some footage of the rivalry ... I play for Collingwood and Carlton are our rivals and we’ll play that way,’’ Hope said.

‘‘We want to win — whatever it takes.

‘‘I have a lot of respect for (Carlton’s) players, who I think are extremely talented, but once you step foot out onto that field it’s game on.

‘‘I’m playing for the jumper, this club and its supporters — that’s the way the whole team feels and that’s how we’ll play.’’

About 15000 fans are expected to turn out to witness the historic game when the Blues host the Pies in the season-opener at Princes Park.

Hope has been delighted by the public interest in the much-hyped fledgling competition, but the prolific goal-kicker is ready for the onfield action to start.

‘‘You pinch yourself, it all seems so surreal,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s like a childhood dream coming true for all of us, so we’re enjoying those moments, but I just can’t wait to kick a bloody football.’’

Carlton marquee player Darcy Vescio agreed the opening minutes of tonight’s match would be hotly contested.

‘‘I think from the minute you step into either club you’re aware of the rivalry... it’s so historic,’’ Vescio said.

‘‘I think all of the girls will be raring to go, but hopefully the nerves will settle after the first five minutes and we can just play.’’

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