Collingwood Magpies star recruit Daniel McStay has spoken out over his arrival at the club for the 2023 AFL season.

McStay, who debuted for the Brisbane Lions in 2014 and went on to kick 138 goals across 161 games for the club, departed at the end of last season where he signed a five-year contract to return to his home state with the Magpies.

Completing the move as a free agent, the key forward who celebrated his 27th birthday during the season just gone will look to assist Collingwood one step further after the club were bundled out at the preliminary final stage in 2022, losing by a single point to the Sydney Swans.

The star forward, who stands almost two metres tall, will walk straight into the side at Collingwood, who have also signed Billy Frampton from Adelaide, Bobby Hill from the Giants and Tom Mitchell from Hawthorn for 2023.

Moving to Collingwood has also allowed him to link up with Justin Leppitsch, who was his first senior coach at the Lions. McStay was 19 years old at the time, having been taken with Pick 25 by the Lions in the 2013 draft.

Speaking to, McStay said his time at Collingwood, and linking up with Leppitsch, who is on Craig McRae's staff at Collingwood, has been amazing.

"It's been amazing so far. Collingwood is building a really good culture and they've been really welcoming. Reconnecting with 'Leppa' after having him as my senior coach in the early days has been awesome," McStay said.

"He is coaching the forwards, so it's great to spend time with him again. I can get a bit serious at times – he loves cracking jokes and making it light at training – it's hard enough if you build it up too much, but he is really good at just bringing me back down to earth, which is good."

Despite the move back to Victoria, where McStay has played for the Eastern Ranges as a junior, the now 27-year-old said the decision to leave Brisbane wasn't an easy one.

In his nine years for the Lions, the club were involved in four finals series, all coming over the last four years.

He said Chris Fagan and the staff at Brisbane were exceptional in their support.

"I had a lot of great support up in Brisbane, from the playing staff to the coaches. Fages was just amazing for me. It definitely wasn't an easy decision to move away from those guys. But I'm really happy with the decision I made," he said.

Collingwood fans will get their first look at McStay in club colours on Friday, March 17 against premiers the Geelong Cats at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, while McStay's first trip back to Brisbane will occur in Round 4 on Thursday, April 6.