Opals visit the Westpac centre

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As a lifelong Collingwood Magpies fan, coach Brendan Joyce along with the Opals were led through a tour of the Westpac Centre’s facilities on Tuesday morning.

Making use of the high-end resources, the Opals utilised a light training session in the weight room while also getting a look at the gym, ice baths and recovery rooms.

Joyce has always been impressed by Collingwood’s facilities, beginning a relationship with Football Director Neil Balme over a decade ago when he would bring in the Wollongong Hawks to join in on Magpies recovery sessions.

“I’ve got some pretty good relationships with Collingwood,” said Joyce.

“One of my closest friends, Tony Shaw, captained the Magpies to the 1990 premiership and I went to the same primary school as Eddie McGuire, St Dominic’s. Now my brother-in-law, Dale Tapping, coaches the VFL team and I have been able to get to know ‘Bucks’ (Magpies AFL head coach Nathan Buckley).

Irrelevant of those associations, Joyce has been a Collingwood fan since birth. Attending games in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, he witnessed a couple of ANZAC Day matches live but unfortunately missed the 1990 Grand Final.

“Because there was a draw in the Preliminary Final, I could not go as we had our daughter scheduled in for a baptism which we thought would be the week after the Grand Final. Three of my brothers came straight from the footy, not exactly in a good state for a baptism.”

The Opals will continue their training throughout the week before they face the New Zealand Tall Ferns at Rod Laver Arena on Saturday August 15 from 6.30pm AEST.