Collingwood fielded a team in the reserves competition from 1919-1999, and when the VFL competition (comprising of mostly VFA clubs) merged with the AFL reserves at the beginning of the 2000 season, the Magpies fielded their own standalone team.
At the end of 2000, Collingwood opted to affiliate with the Williamstown Football Club (who had previously been partially affiliated with the Western Bulldogs) for the 2001 season. The alignment continued until the end of 2007 when the Magpies reintroduced their own VFL team with Gavin Brown as coach and Paul Licuria the football manager.
After a rough start in 2008, the club's decision to field a standalone VFL team began to pay dividends when it reached the Preliminary Final against eventual premier North Ballarat in 2009.
The team went through a transitional year in 2010 as the club’s youngsters began to supersede veterans such as Josh Fraser, Tarkyn Lockyer, Paul Medhurst and Shane O'Bree.
The 2010 season marked a return to the club's traditional home, Victoria Park, and also signalled the end of Gavin Brown's 26-year career at Collingwood as a player and coach.
The team’s new coach Tarkyn Lockyer was faced with the challenging task of trying to manage a side that comprised several skinny first and second year players in the two seasons that followed. He has remained the team’s Midfield Development Coach with Dale Tapping, a premiership winning coach at TAC Cup level, stepping into the role as coach for the 2013 season.
Tapping led the VFL Magpies to the finals in each of his first four years in charge, culminating in a Preliminary Final appearance against Footscray in 2016.
Now, in 2017, Jared Rivers assumes the mantle of VFL coach. His assistants include Brad Gotch, Ryan Power and Jamie Cassidy-McNamara.