Collingwood skipper Geva Mentor says 2020 season has been an embarrassment

Collingwood skipper Geva Mentor (left) says the club’s results ‘don’t lie’. Picture: Albert Perez/Getty Images

Collingwood captain Geva Mentor has opened up about the “frustration, disappointment and embarrassment” of the Magpies’ Super Netball season as they close in on the wooden spoon this weekend.

The Magpies have won just one of 13 games going into the final round clash against the Queensland Firebirds in Brisbane on Saturday. They will finish eighth and last on the ladder regardless of the result, taking the wooden spoon for the first time in their history.

“There’s frustration in there, there’s disappointment, there’s embarrassment, there’s times when I’ve been proud, and it’s just been a mix of emotion this season,” Mentor said.

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The Magpies have lost several experienced players to long-term injury this season, leaving English international Mentor a lone senior voice on court.

The loss of sisters Madi and Kelsey Browne hasn’t helped the Magpies’ cause. Picture: AAP Image/Michael Dodge
The loss of sisters Madi and Kelsey Browne hasn’t helped the Magpies’ cause. Picture: AAP Image/Michael Dodge

Despite that, the Magpies have pushed the top teams but cannot find the consistency to add to their sole win of the season, achieved over the Firebirds in Round 3.

“We come out for glimpses but we’re just not able to sustain that all the way through, whether it’s fatigue, whether it’s our error rate, there’s so many little things that need to be worked on,” Mentor said.

“As a team, it’s just eliminating those basic errors. There’s lots of things to work on. Unfortunately, it’s such a condensed season, it’s very hard to be able to get out on court and be able to train.

“We’re practising things out there but results don’t lie.”

Mentor acknowledged “embarrassment” was a strong word to use but said it was justified.

“I think it’s just because of where we’re sitting,” she said.

“We’re such a proud club. We wear our dress with pride, we’re representing not just a netball team, we’re representing 100-odd years of history at Collingwood, and we know they’ve been very successful in the past and we want to bring success to their netball program.

“We know they’re very passionate about their football program as well, so for us, it’s not just representing the club, it’s representing the other Victorians that are back in the state.”

The withdrawal of high-profile players Ash Brazill (ACL) and Nat Medhurst (maternity leave) ahead of the season start and the retirement of her co-captain Madi Browne (knee) and loss of Browne’s sister Kelsey (knee), left Mentor, 36, with almost eight times more caps than the remainder of her Magpies team combined.

“I’m definitely not one for joining a team to be able to build, I want to go out there and perform, but unfortunately, it’s where we’re at,” she said.

“We’ve had so many retirements, we’ve also had some great news with pregnancies, so we’ve had a forever changing team, and I feel sorry for our coaching staff that they’ve had a team on paper and then it’s come down to the actual season and it’s looked completely different.”

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