MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 10: Jack Crisp of the Magpies celebrates kicking a goal during the AFL First Semifinal match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Fremantle Dockers at Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 10, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Durable defender Jack Crisp has claimed "no one's safe for spots" in Collingwood's premiership-defending side this year.

The Magpies, after besting Brisbane late last September, have hit the pre-season track in fine form as they prepare to defend their masterful 2023 title.

However, while the club's loyal supporters continue to revel in the glory that was last year's premiership triumph, the players are focused on returning stronger again in '24.

Crisp, who's played a staggering 214 consecutive AFL games, revealed the avenues he utilises to ensure he remains in game-ready shape.

"You wanna get better [and] play at the top of your game for so long, so you're tipping into your craft [and] your mechanics, and then obviously making sure you're doing a lot on the recovery side of things," Crisp told 9News on Saturday.

"I always feel like I need more (recovery), whether it's ice baths, or saunas, or going to the beach, or some cryotherapy, [which] I do a fair bit of."

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 17: Jack Crisp of the Magpies celebrates kicking a goal during the AFL Second Preliminary match between the Sydney Swans and the Collingwood Magpies at Sydney Cricket Ground on September 17, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

Collingwood's recruiting brains trust made further list additions this off-season in the form of former Fremantle forward Lachie Schultz and draftees Harry DeMattia and Tew Jiath.

However, while the club's playing personnel was bolstered, Crisp sang the praises of a pre-existing Pie; midfielder Finn Macrae.

"He's definitely increased his running capacity and his strength and size, so he's become really strong around the inside midfield, and it puts a lot of pressure on the older guys," Crisp said of the 12-game onballer.

Macrae, the younger brother of Western Bulldogs veteran Jack, was a first-round draft choice in 2020, but he has never played more than nine senior games in a season for the Pies and his contract expires this year.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 23: Finlay Macrae of the Magpies in action during the 2021 AFL Round 19 match between the Port Adelaide Power and the Collingwood Magpies at Marvel Stadium on July 23, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Crisp declared that no premiership Pie's place in this year's side is secure, despite retaining the formidable squad that beat the Demons, Giants and Lions en route to its 16th piece of silverware.

"No one's safe for spots," Crisp continued. "The competition's really high, which is probably what's driving our standards at the moment."

2023 SSP sensation Oleg Markov echoed that sentiment on Saturday.

"I don't think I've cemented my spot (in the team) just quite yet and even if you think I have, I'm gonna refuse to believe that," Markov stated. "I think my mentality last year worked."

After spending a portion of last pre-season with arch-rivals Carlton, Markov was snapped up by the Pies ahead of what unfolded as a fruitful '23 campaign.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 30: Nathan Murphy of the Magpies and Oleg Markov of the Magpies celebrate with the Premiership Cup during the 2023 AFL Grand Final match between Collingwood Magpies and Brisbane Lions at Melbourne Cricket Ground, on September 30, 2023, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Collingwood will tussle with North Melbourne and Richmond in pre-season practice matches before travelling to play GWS in the AFL's Opening Round on March 9.