Collingwood forward Jack Ginnivan has all but locked up a spot under senior coach Craig McRae for the Magpies' first final after a blistering performance against Essendon, while young sensation Nick Daicos has had a line put through his chances of playing in the club's qualifying final.
The Magpies will learn who their week one finals opponent will be in just over a day's time, with McRae's men booking a home final to start their September run after securing the minor premiership on Friday night thanks to a 70-point victory over Essendon.
A hot start from the Magpies had the result settled in the opening half, with Ginnivan playing an integral part in pushing his side to a strong lead early into the affair.
The small forward would end his evening with three goals and as many goal assists from his season-high haul of 17 possessions in what was just his second start for Collingwood since Round 12.
The polarising Magpie has had to turn his year around through the VFL after being demoted at the midway mark of the year, with McRae conceding Ginnivan "wasn't playing above the level" required to earn a recall to the AFL side.
But a lift in Ginnivan's training standards and motivation led to the 20-year-old returning as the tactical sub in Round 22 against Geelong, where he played a pivotal role late into the win against the Cats.
Starting in McRae's side on Friday against the Bombers, Ginnivan was a key link in Collingwood's scoring chain as they went on to boot the first 11 goals of the game, with the Magpies coach thrilled with how his young attacker presented himself on the occasion.
"We were really pleased with the way he got to positions where we needed him. To set the field up, 'be there when we need you'," McRae said in his post-game press conference.
"When guys looked up out of defensive 50 they saw him, and he got used. That's one element of his game, (he's also) creative. He's always a talking point because he finishes the goals well, he's important for us and he can impact the scoreboard.
"We're really pleased with him."
McRae said a turning point in Ginnivan's season came as the club began to see a change in his attitude toward training, "a real shift" that has led the Collingwood livewire to be a key piece in their premiership pursuit.
The Magpies coach said despite Ginnivan going unrewarded at selection when his standards first lifted, the third-year Magpie is now getting his flowers after he "stuck with it".
"I strongly believe it came down to his training standards. There was a real shift," McRae said.
"You can get caught up in form, but at VFL he wasn't playing above the level. Then he got busy with his training.
"For a month there he was our best trainer, really high intensity with what he was doing and he wasn't getting rewarded for it, but he stuck with it.
"Opportunity presented and games like tonight he shows what he's capable of."
The performance against Essendon will leave McRae with a selection dilemma for the club's opening final against this year's fourth-placed side, with suspended forward Beau McCreery to make his return after a week on the sidelines.
The Magpies will also have captain Darcy Moore and fellow defender Nathan Murphy back from injury for the qualifying final, while Nick Daicos isn't expected to return until at least week two of the September action due to his knee injury.
The trio of anticipated inclusions will come at a time when Collingwood's reinforcements are taking their chance at the top level, with Ginnivan the latest to shine with new opportunities.
The Magpies are confident star forward Jamie Elliott won't miss any action after he was subbed out of the win over Essendon with a corked glute.
Collingwood will need to wait until the conclusion of Round 24 to learn their opponent and the date of their home final.