Collingwood are understood to be trailing another cross-code athlete through their 2023 pre-season training program, with overlooked draft talent Rye Penny reportedly joining the Magpies' squad ahead of Round 1 as a train-on player.
Penny, a former volleyballer, was overlooked at last November's draft despite impressing with his high-flying ability as a medium-sized defender.
The Calder Cannons backman, who turned 19 last week, played nine NAB League games in 2022, averaging 13 disposals, 5.1 marks and 2.0 rebounds 50s per match.
He would also be a standout at the State Combine, where he matched the standing vertical jump record while also recording strong times in the 20m sprint test.
Penny opted to take the path of football over volleyball in an attempt to secure an opportunity in the AFL, with that dream now potentially becoming a reality at Olympic Park.
According to 7 News' Mitch Cleary, Penny joins retired beach volleyballer Max Guehrer in pressing for a list spot at the Magpies.
Another ex-volleyballer will train with Collingwood, hoping to win the club’s vacant rookie spot.
Rye Penny - via Calder Cannons - will train with the Pies’ VFL/AFL program when they return to pre-season.
The athletic high-flyer has been likened to Easton Wood and Jeremy Howe
— Mitch Cleary (@cleary_mitch) January 9, 2023
With Guehrer likely in the frame for a Category B Rookie spot, Penny will have competition from West Adelaide ruckman Oscar Steene for a spot through the Supplemental Selection Period.
Steene joined the Magpies last year before the break and will return to training in 2023.
Several other AFL clubs are set to trial train-on players in the coming weeks, with Essendon, Richmond, Fremantle, Melbourne and Gold Coast among the clubs potentially adding to their list through the SSP.
Conor McKenna (Brisbane), Liam Shiels (North Melbourne), Oskar Baker (Western Bulldogs) and Jed Anderson (Gold Coast) have all found new clubs through the SSP window already, having signed on late last year.
The SSP window runs until February 15, with clubs able to hold off on filling rookie list spots in favour of carrying them into the Mid-Season Draft.