Three-man leadership group for Magpies
COLLINGWOOD has reverted back to an old-style three-man leadership group, with captain Scott Pendlebury and vice-captains Steele Sidebottom and Taylor Adams to lead the team in 2017.
In an age of ever-expanding leadership groups at rival AFL clubs, the Magpies have chosen a different pathway after the entire playing list voted emphatically for Pendlebury, who will captain the club for a fourth season, and Sidebottom and Adams as his deputies.
Pendlebury said it didn't matter how many players were in a leadership group, given he wants everyone on the list to play a role, and wasn't worried that all three members were midfielders.
"I am not too concerned with what other clubs are doing, we think it (the three-man group) works best for us," Pendlebury said.
"We do a player vote and the three of us were the clear guys nominated by our peers, but you don't have to have a title to lead at this football club.
"The three of us will form the leadership group, (but) we have a really strong group of leaders at this football club that are underneath us. We expect all of our players to buy into the standards and we didn't really want to put titles on it as such."
Pendlebury said there were no limitations on what the Magpies can achieve this season, despite missing the past three finals series, and with coach Nathan Buckley saying late last year that he doesn't expect to hold onto his role if the club misses out on the eight again.
"With what Nathan said, I think he tried to put the pressure on himself, but we are kidding ourselves as a playing group if we don't think the pressure is on everyone at this football club," Pendlebury said.
"Every player in the league wants to play finals, and we are no different. The pressure is on, like it is every year ... we embrace that and are ready to go.
"There are no limits on what we want to do and what we want to achieve, but we have to get through Round 1 first."
Pendlebury, who missed last Saturday's final JLT Community Series game with a sore Achilles, insisted he was a certainty to play in Friday week's Round 1 clash against Western Bulldogs.
He will be back on the training track on Friday.
"The Achilles is fine," he said. "It was just precautionary (to miss the game), with it being the preseason. We didn't want to gamble on it or try and push me through a preseason game."
"We went the safe call and I will be fine for Round 1."
The Magpies went with a five-man leadership group last year - which included Pendlebury Sidebottom and Adams - but the retirement of Brent Macaffer and the shift of Nathan Brown to St Kilda brought about the change this year.
Collingwood also announced a new five-year sponsorship deal with CGU that will run through until 2022, with president Eddie McGuire calling it the biggest commercial deal in the club's history.