Following the reports that Don Pyke has withdrawn from the race for the senior Collingwood Coach, Hawthorn assistant coach, Craig McRae has emerged as the front runner for the role.

McRae, who played for Brisbane throughout their historical three-peat, has had experience behind the scenes taking on assistant coaching roles at Richmond, Brisbane, Collingwood, and most recently, Hawthorn.

AFL great Leigh Matthews has told SEN Sportsday that McRae is a "coach for the modern era".

“He’s done his 15 years behind the scenes,” Matthews said.

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Matthew's coached McRae throughout his time as a Brisbane player and stated that he would not have picked him to be a senior coach at the time.

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“But I think that’s the difference in the modern era because you’re such a different person than you are in your 20s," the four-time premiership coach revealed.

“That type of personality seems to be more the type of personality that helps you be a good coach in this era, where a lot of player relationships are to be built. You’ve got to get your team of coaches working well around you."

McRae was awarded the AFLCA Assistant Coach of the Year and VFL Coach of the Year in 2019 after guiding the Tigers reserves to a premiership in the same season as Damien Hardwick's senior side.