COLLINGWOOD has gone back to the future in announcing a three-man leadership group to front the Magpies in 2017.
Scott Pendlebury will captain the club for the fourth season in succession, with Steele Sidebottom and Taylor Adams as vice-captains.
Nathan Brown, now with St Kilda, and the retired Brett Macaffer were in last season's group, and the Magpies have chosen not to replace them.
The decision makes the leadership group the smallest in the AFL but Pendlebury said it could be a point of difference that gave the Magpies an advantage over their rivals.
"We expect all of the players to buy into the standards, and we didn't really want to put titles on it as such, and the playing group was across it and ticked it off as a group and think could be a major strength for this club moving forward," Pendlebury said.
The 29-year-old missed the final JLT Community Series game against Richmond in Moe on Saturday after feeling a niggle in his Achilles but said he would be fit and available to play in round one against the Western Bulldogs.
"It was just precautionary on the weekend," Pendlebury said.
"I'll be fine for round one. I'll train Friday."
Pendlebury said it would not be difficult for the three leaders to stay abreast of matters relating to players, with relationships being critical to any system.
"We've got strong relationships with players but we are going to call on Ben Reid, Tyson Goldsack, Alex Fasolo, Josh Smith, Adam Treloar, different guys who will let us know what they feel in the environment," he said.
After missing the finals for the past three seasons, the Magpies enter the season under great scrutiny but Pendlebury said the players were keeping their focus narrow.
"There are no limits on what we want to do or what we want to achieve but we have to get through round one first and that is what we are focusing on," he said.
"Every player in the League wants to play finals so we're no different. The pressure is on, like it is every year. We embrace that and we are ready to go."
Pendlebury said Daniel Wells would put his hand up when he recovered from his calf injury.
"The group will embrace him when he gets there because he is going to be such a crucial part of this year," Pendlebury said.
When asked for the playing group's reaction to Nathan Buckley's comments that 15 or 16 games a season would be a good result for Wells, Pendlebury played a straight bat.
"You don't disagree with the coach."
Jamie Elliott remains touch and go to play in round one after hurting his ankle at training a fortnight ago.
The Magpies also announced an extension until 2022 of its sponsorship with insurance provider CGU, which has been a sponsor of the club since 2011.
Club president Eddie McGuire said it was a momentous day for the club as it represented the biggest commercial deal in Collingwood's history.
"It underpins all our programs, both philanthropic and on-field," McGuire said.