Collingwood enters its flag defence campaign next year with most of the same firepower as it did this year, posing a daunting challenge to the rest of the competition.

The Pies were dominant all the way through in 2023, blitzing their opponents by way of devastating ball movement and suffocating defensive pressure.

After triumphing over Brisbane on the last Saturday of September, the Magpies cast away a pair of fan favourites during the trade period – goalsneak Jack Ginnivan and hard-nosed ball-winner Taylor Adams

However, the argument can be made that Collingwood still managed to upgrade the squad that emerged victorious on September 30 against the Lions.

We assessed Collingwood's star-studded list and offered our projected best 23 for the Pies heading into next year.

2. Midfielders

Collingwood farewelled veteran ball-getter Taylor Adams to the Sydney Swans, where the now-three-club player will join fellow ex-Pie Brodie Grundy.

Whilst Adams bowed out at Olympic Park on a heartbreaking note – missing out on a premiership medallion because of an ill-timed hamstring ailment – his absence shouldn't be a substantial loss for Craig McRae's Pies, whose engine room is teeming with tantalising talent.

Nick Daicos and Jordan De Goey each pose as Brownlow Medal chances in 2024, while in-and-under specialist Tom Mitchell will aim to have similar success next season as he did during his maiden Pies campaign this year.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 18: Nick Daicos (left) receives a kiss form brother Josh after the 2022 AFL Round 01 match between the St Kilda Saints and the Collingwood Magpies at Marvel Stadium on March 18, 2022 In Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

21-year-old midfielder Finlay Macrae, having played just 12 AFL games to this point in his three-year Pies career, will hope to make a bigger impact at the senior level; potentially at the expense of Patrick Lipinski, who was demoted to tactical substitute for the Grand Final, or even veteran Steele Sidebottom, who nears the end of his glittering career.