On Wednesday, President Mark Korda, CEO Mark Anderson and General Manager of Football Graham Wright welcomed Collingwood's new head coach: Craig McRae.
Korda spoke to the promise that McRae's appointment brings to the club.
- "Craig is joining us at a critical time of this strategy, with our full support and assistance Craig is to guide and shape this transformation, bring it to life and ultimately return us to premiership contention."
- "His strengths compliment our program, he's been asked to develop a very young squad and mould it into a premiership contender."
Anderson followed, highlighting the process upon which McRae was selected.
- "We wanted to drive for success, but we needed to drive for success in the right way."
- "We wanted to do it in a way that ensured we built a strong foundation for our club and for our team and for our playing list."
- "At every stage of the process, Craig impressed immeasurably around his experience ant eh success he's had in every single role he's had across AFL football."
On McRae specifically, Anderson had high praise for the new senior coach.
- His leadership style has impressed immeasurably, he's a trained teacher and educator, he's very relationship orientated and his style is one that works along side players to bring out their very best. Importantly in this role, he knows how to make the tough decisions that are required of a successful football program."
From a football department perspective, Wright explained McRae's high level of footballing experience.
- "He understands the modern game, understands that it's always evolving but is also a proven developer of young people and obviously we've got a young list that I'm sure will benefit from his input on the way through."
- "He's a proven winner, whether he's been coaching or as a player himself."
The man of the moment started his senior coaching career with a clear insight into his excitement...
- "It was an extensive process...it did allow me to reflect on my journey and it's been a long one. This one's been 15 years coaching and the ability to be resilient and struggle...I bring all that here and looking forward to take this club forward."
A sign of his character, McRae began by thanking his ex-colleagues and friends at his past clubs, Richmond and Hawthorn.
McRae had a message to the 82,000 members that have supported the club through the pandemic.
- "I sit here and I'm really grateful and thankful for those people who continue to support our club, without even being able to go to games. It's going to be difficult to please all of you at the same time, but I just want to make sure that you understand we're going to work really hard to develop winning habits and behaviours that you'll be really proud of us win, lose or draw'."
Watch the full press conference below: