After a slow start to their premiership defence, Collingwood is well within the hunt as the club attempts to go back-to-back for the first time since 1936.

In recent off-seasons the Pies have been active as they look to create the perfect mix under coach Craig McRae, with the 2024 period looking no different.

Collingwood is in the mix to bolster their key defensive posts to assist captain Darcy Moore as the premature retirement of Nathan Murphy, and with father time slowly catch up to Jeremy Howe, opening vacancies down back.

McRae and his list management staff could also look to add an experienced ruckman to help Darcy Cameron in the role given Mason Cox doesn't pose as the long-term solution.

Considering that most of the game's high-quality big men are locked away at their respective clubs, the Pies would either need to offer a godfather deal to pry them out or settle for a project player.

Either or, we've named five potential targets for Collingwood as we look to 2025 and beyond.



1. Josh Battle 

St Kilda unrestricted free agent Josh Battle is set to receive a massive pay packet in his next deal as rivals look to pry him out of Moorabbin.

In a market where there isn't a heap of high-level key defenders, the bargaining price goes up tenfold due to their significance. And Battle is no different.

The Pies are currently in the hunt for the 25-year-old's signature but will have to contend with Hawthorn and the Saints, while North Melbourne has been lingering.

Battle has taken his game to new heights in 2024, averaging 17.6 disposals and 7.9 marks as a key defensive pillar under Ross Lyon.

Collingwood does have the added benefit of presenting the Haileybury product with blockbuster fixturing, huge MCG crowds and expected finals appearances, something he has been starved of (two appearances) at St Kilda.

Battle will slot seamlessly into Murphy's old role while also providing cover for Howe when he decides to hang up the boots.

Josh Battle during the 2022 AFL Round 1 match between St Kilda and Collingwood (Photo by Cameron Grimes / Zero Digital Media)