Scott Pendlebury has always wanted to get as much out of his career as possible.

“When I was 17, Mick (Malthouse) spoke to us about how in a group of players, ‘statistically out of you guys, only two of you would get to 200 games and only one of you will win a flag’,” Pendlebury recalls in Collingwood’s new documentary ‘Take the steps’.

“Straight away in my head I was like ‘I’m going to be one of those two guys’.”

He is one of those two guys, and has been much more, however even ahead of the 2023 Preliminary Final, the 35-year-old was able to reflect on how he’d mellowed over his career.

Sitting in his loungeroom amongst an enshrined 2010 Grand Final jumper and Norm Smith Medal, the midfielder reiterated how he has no regrets about his career, but was able to recognise his mentality has shifted over time.

“10 to 12 years ago there was a little bit more try block it out, just do your process, lock in,” Pendlebury said.

“I had a checklist that was crazy long, and I’d say ‘I’ve got to do all this, if I don’t do that, I won’t play well on the weekend’. But I reckon I would’ve burnt out. It was all footy.

“I’ve always wanted to make the most of my career and look after my body really well, say no to drinks, and that’s why I’m still here.

“My mates would say socially they don’t see me that often and there is a cost in that, but there’s a reason why I’ve done what I’ve done, it definitely feels validated because of this.”

A lot of that has to do with his family, with his children a key motivator in his life.

Helped by Head Coach Craig McRae coming on board, Pendlebury has been able to continue his stunning career, all the while immersive his family within the Club.

“There’s so many different things with Fly, the way that he’s embraced my family and brought his family along for the ride has just been amazing,” he said.

“I remember the first time I ever met him and just sitting down and he says ‘I want to extend your career as long as I can’.

“As a 33-year-old that’s really refreshing to hear that he sees more time than ‘hey we’re going to get rid of you just because you’re 33’.”