Drafted in 2006 as a key forward, Ben Reid's transition to the backline led to his breakout year in 2010. 

Not often does a breakout year coincide with a nine-game winning streak, a minor premiership, two grand finals in as many weeks and a flag.

Reid joined Nick Maxwell on the Return to the Nest podcast to reflect on his 14 seasons at the Pies.

In the blood

Reid's father, Bruce, played 119 games for Footscray and Carlton and his brother Sam is heading into his 13th season at the Swans.

"Dad coached the thirds at Bright and as a little tacker I'd go kick the footy at training and run the water to the thirds boys on game day," Reid told Nick Maxwell on the Return to the Nest podcast.

"I was always involved with footy clubs.

"I was more obsessed with footy than Sam, we both played cricket and basketball as well and Sam was a jack of all trades.

"I got picked for the U16s Vic country and when I made the AIS team that's when I thought, I'm a show here to get drafted.

"(Nathan) Browny and I went through Vic Country together and the next year we were drafted together.

"Bright is three and a half hours away so there wasn't too many clubs who would make the trek but Collingwood drove up to talk to me."

The back six bond

At the end of his second year, senior coach Mick Malthouse told Reid; "we'll try you down back."

He played the entirety of the 2009 VFL season in the backline and two games of AFL up forward.

"I always tried to read the play and mark the footy, that became a strength of mine as a defender," Reid said.

"It was a massive learning curve - even in 2010 I was dropped in round three from memory.

"We played a game in Brissy and Fev and Browny kicked five or six goals between them, they got hold of me.

"After that game you (Maxxy) grabbed me in the elevator at the hotel and told me straight - 'if you want to be part of this back six and I think you can, you need to learn to play on these guys or you'll be out. We can't trust you.'

"That chat was the eye opener for me.

"The next week I played one of my better games, I did more tape on the oppo players and learnt how to stop them."

Ben Reid spoils Lance Franklin during round 22 of the 2010 season.

"Every bloke in that back six was a different type of person, me and Browny were more laid back."

"Heater was in his own world half the time, you (Maxxy) were a leader...by round 14 or 15 we just knew what each other was going to do.

"We played together two or three years and it made it so easy."

The dawn of the chant

Reid recalls feeling confident early in the 2010 preliminary final against Geelong and also pins it as the night the Collingwood chant we are familiar with today was born.

"I remember thinking in the first quarter, 'this is going our way today' - everything turned to gold in the first term," he said.

"That was the loudest I've ever heard the 'G.

"I think the Collingwood chant we hear now probably started that night."

"Grand Final week was unreal, we had 30 or 40 thousand here for training.

"(The first game) was the most physical, taxing game I've ever been involved in.

"We were all thinking, 'how do we get up again next week?'

"In the replay we kicked a couple of goals in the third and that's when I thought, 'we've got this.'

"In that last quarter we had the chance to really soak it in."

Bettering the bod with Ballet

Reid sustained a number of soft tissue injuries in the back half of his career and after frustrating setbacks with recovery, he turned to ballet.

"I worked with a ballet teacher, Paula, to help my recovery," he said.

"The mindset that led me to go down that path was to try something different to get different results.

"At one stage I had 120 injections over five days along my calf, hamstring and lower back in Germany.

"The ballet dancers are so strong - I watched a 40kg woman doing these workouts and I thought, it can't be that hard.

"I was shaking within a minute."

"She was real pedantic about little things and she helped me a lot - to this day I still do some of the exercises she gave me.

"It was challenging to see the team succeed and not be involved (in 2018 and 2019).

"That's footy - not everyone can have a smooth sailing career."

Listen to Ben Reid on Return to the Nest here: