Cheeky barbs with ex-teammate Michael Voss and a text from former Magpies president Eddie McGuire have added to a significant week in Craig McRae's first season as the Collingwood's senior coach.
McRae's young fleet will clash with arch-rivals Carlton at the MCG this weekend in an encounter that is anticipated to draw in north of 80,000 fans.
Both McRae and Voss shared the famous early 2000s dynasty at Brisbane, playing a part in the club's three successive premiership wins and combining for 366 games for the Lions.
The pair will face off on Sunday as McRae looks to spoil the party for Voss' in-form Blues unit, who sit 8-2 and in third on the ladder in what is also the Brownlow medallist's maiden campaign at Princes Park.
Speaking to media on Friday, McRae expressed his delight in seeing his close friend and former teammate exceeding expectations at the helm of the navy blue.
"I have, he owes me dinner. I shouted him earlier in the year and he still owes me one," McRae said of contacting Voss in the build-up to Sunday's affair.
"I'm rapt to see him doing so well. We've had a close friendship for a long time on and off the field, and had some fun.
"...They have a lot of strengths, particularly around clearances and the contested marking game."
"They have one of the best midfields in the comp."
"It looks like they're coached by Michael Voss - they play a contested brand, living on the edge a bit."
The Blues will enter the Round 11 clash heavily favoured after a strong run of form, having collected four consecutive wins to stamp their authority on the competition.
Meanwhile, the Magpies are one win outside of the top eight and are too surpassing most assumptions that were made of McRae's men in the pre-season.
A win against Fremantle last Sunday followed that trend, but McRae was quickly alerted of the necessity to be even more competitive this week by the club's ex-president.
"I was quickly reminded. I checked my phone after the Fremantle game. Eddie McGuire texted me and he said 'well done, but don't forget next week is the important one for us'," McRae revealed.
"There's a huge history between the two clubs and we'll be ready to keep that going.
"We've been trying to honour our jump all year from the past to the present and into the future. So this is just another part of that, and we'll show some footage around what that looks like."
A focal point in who will snatch the premiership points has been placed on the likely battle between Coleman Medal leader Charlie Curnow and All-Australian backman Darcy Moore.
Moore was among the top performers for the Magpies in the 36-point win over the Dockers, with McRae excited by his star defender's return to form and upcoming bout with Curnow.
"It presents as a really key matchup," McRae said.
"I was rapt with Darcy last week. We had some conversations the last few weeks about his starting positions and how he goes about it.
"He's a great leader, leads from the front. Ideally he plays like he did last week."
Collingwood will be chasing their sixth win of the season when they host Carlton at the MCG on Sunday at 3:20pm AEST.