GEELONG is confident there will be a "seamless transition" when outgoing football manager Neil Balme hands the reins over to Steve Hocking.
Balme was appointed as Collingwood's director of football on Monday, replacing new Gold Coast coach Rodney Eade, with the Magpies presenting him with an offer that was too difficult to pass up.
Balme, who was a key figure in Geelong's sustained period of success from 2007-2014, is sure Hocking has the right credentials to fill the role.
"When I first came to this place, one of Brian's (CEO Brian Cook) instructions to me was 'to make sure Steve Hocking can do your job pretty soon'," Balme said.
"I don't reckon we'll miss a beat, so in some ways it's a positive thing."
Hocking has had a long tenure at the Cats. He was lauded for the role he played as Balme's right-hand man in the football department since 2007, before moving into the commercial side of the business at the start of last season to broaden his skills.
Many at Geelong believe Hocking will be the club's next CEO when Cook decides the time is right to step aside.
Balme, who served as Collingwood's footy boss for eight seasons prior to starting at Geelong, will complete his final duties as Cats' football manager at the upcoming NAB AFL Draft.
"I'm finishing off this job. This job still needs to be done for this year," Balme said.
"Our people have got every faith in me representing Geelong over the next four weeks and I don't think there's any problem with that."
Balme remained tight-lipped about the kinds of roles he will be expected to carry out at the Magpies, preferring to have those conversations when he begins in his new role.
However, he said the Magpies' "enormous potential" and the prospect of mentoring coach Nathan Buckley – at an important stage of his coaching career – were major attractions.
"They (Collingwood) are a great club with enormous potential, there's no doubt about that," Balme said.
"They've done some really hard work in looking at their list. They've had to have the change from an older group.
"They've gone through that process, now it's just a matter of pulling that together.
"They're a powerhouse club and it'll be a great place to work."
Hocking said Geelong also has its array of challenges as it strives towards adding another premiership to the ones won in 2007, 2009 and 2011.
"There's always challenges. You want to stay at the top of the competition – you want to be in those top three or four clubs," Hocking said.
"The other challenge for us is our list. It's a young list and we need to make sure the support that Neil has built around the playing group is continued and that's something I'll look to foster going forward."
Balme is satisfied with what he, and others, achieved in his time at Geelong.
"There's a lot of people at Geelong who should be very proud of what happened, and I am one of them," Balme said.
"I'm really proud of my involvement over the journey. It has been an extraordinary eight years."