Collingwood’s AFL leadership changes are because more players want the responsibility and no reflection on Travis Cloke and Tyson Goldsack, according to Nathan Buckley.
The Magpies coach has defended the two veterans after Brent Macaffer and Taylor Adams replaced them in the leadership group.
Macaffer and Adams join captain Scott Pendlebury, Steele Sidebottom and Nathan Brown in the official player leadership posts.
Buckley said Cloke and Goldsack had handled the situation well.
He added a lot more Colliingwood players now wanted to help lead the team.
“Our leadership depth has improved enormously over the last 24 months.
“Rather than seeing Trav and Goldy as guys who have dropped off, I’d rather see them as blokes who have been overtaken.
“(It’s) been a big shift over the last four or five years – guys who actually want to put their hand up and say they want to drive this club forward.”
Collingwood’s first NAB Challenge game will be on Friday in Geelong against the Cats.
Buckley is pleased with their pre-season so far, saying Jeremy Howe, Jamie Elliott, Goldsack and Matthew Scharenberg were the only players to miss large chunks of training because of injury.
“The number we look at is 75 to 80 per cent of pre-season sessions,” he said.
“We believe what we’ve been able to build over the last couple of years in our running, our specific skill drills and our gym work has our players in really good stead for the season proper.
“We’ve had the majority of players do the majority of pre-season.”
Meanwhile, Buckley is pleased that the Magpies coaching staff will not need to wear hard hats at Friday’s game.
There was speculation this week that the renovations at the ground might mean it is classified as a construction site.
“Hard hats should be left for Village People at dress-up parties,” Buckley said.