Brit Bonnici trains with Oleg Markov during a Collingwood training session in May, 2024. Picture: Collingwood FC

A WEEK spent with the Collingwood men's program has primed Pies best and fairest winner Brit Bonnici for her best season yet.

Bonnici wasn't the only AFLW player who was immersed in the men's program, with skipper Bri Davey and rising leader Tarni White also spending a week each among the AFL players.

The women effectively shadowed the entirety of the men's program for a full week, attending all meetings and training sessions, gaining insights to share with the wider AFLW team.

"It was a really good opportunity for me in terms of just trying to understand what the next level of the game really looks like, what it looks like trying to apply myself," Bonnici said.

"These guys are the absolute pinnacle of the game and they're what we strive towards being, we can't shy away from the fact when we saw them with the silverware last year, it sort of gave us the kick we needed.

"It was awesome, they were so welcoming, 'Fly' (coach Craig McRae) was awesome, and it definitely showed me where I want to get to."

Brit Bonnici is seen at a Collingwood training session on June 6, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos/Getty Images

Over the off-season, a group of eight AFLW Pies, including Bonnici and the team's high performance manager, spent 10 days at a training camp in Phoenix, Arizona, completing a program that specialises in training professional athletes.

It's in stark contrast to last pre-season, which involved completing the tail-end of rehabilitation from a knee reconstruction.

Despite that interrupted lead in to the 2023 season, Bonnici took out the team's best and fairest count, averaging 18.6 disposals.

"[It's been a] big off-season, just trying to continue to learn about what taking that next step looks like and these guys have been really big in helping me understand that as an individual and us as a program," Bonnici said.

"Just keep ticking the boxes and doing the things that I know I can do, and try and challenge the things that question what I can do. But having a full pre-season under my belt has been really helpful as well, last year I only had a full training session in three weeks out from round one.

"So this year, getting a full pre-season in with Sam (Wright, new coach) here, and all the girls have come in and clicked together again, I think it'll be a good season for everyone."

Bonnici said the success of the men's program – winning the premiership last year – was a driving force for the women's team in 2024.

"We're not shying away from the fact that's what we're striving towards, at the end of the day, that's why we all play footy," she said.

"Like I said, if you see one team within the four walls get that success, the end goal for this club is for both of us to be standing here with it."