Scott Pendlebury has set himself the task of mentoring Collingwood's next wave of AFL leaders this year after being appointed skipper for the ninth straight season.
Pendlebury is already Collingwood's longest-serving captain (183 matches) and he has played a club record 334 games for the Magpies since being drafted with pick No.5 in 2005.
He signed a two-year contract extension in October and is keen to help the club through its rebuild under new coach Craig McRae.
"It is, and always has been, a great honour to lead the team and stand for everyone who loves the black and white," Pendlebury said.
"But I've got added motivation this year, my ninth in the role, which is to assist the new coaching panel to develop what is a relatively young squad.
"There's no shortage of strong and emerging leaders in our group and this year we'll take the opportunity to further develop those players as future leaders and, as a group, we have a role to play in the education of something like 20 or 21 first, second or third year players."
Pendlebury fractured his lower left leg during a pre-season session in December but he returned to training earlier this week.
The 34-year-old star midfielder suffered a similar fracture at the tail end of the 2021 campaign, and he had a plate inserted into his left leg after the training mishap last month.
Pendlebury has won five best and fairest awards at Collingwood and been named an All-Australian six times during his decorated career.
He won the Norm Smith medal in Collingwood's triumph over St Kilda in the 2010 grand final replay.
But the Magpies face a long road back to success after finishing second last in 2021 with a woeful 6-16 record.
Coach Nathan Buckley quit in June, and McRae has since been entrusted to lead Collingwood back to their glory days.
The future of star midfielder Jordan De Goey remains uncertain while he faces charges stemming from an incident in a New York bar last year.
De Goey, who has been stood down indefinitely by the Magpies, appeared in a US court on Wednesday via video link from Melbourne.
The 25-year-old will likely be offered a plea deal which will downgrade his assault charges to harassment, potentially clearing the way for a return to Collingwood.
Australian Associated Press
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.