Nathan Buckley is taking a pragmatic approach to his coaching future, with the Magpies coach saying he would move on after this season if that was determined to be the best option for Collingwood.
After a turbulent pre-season for the club in which it has wrestled with the Do Better report and its findings of a history of systemic racism at Collingwood, the 48-year-old Buckley is entering his 10th season as Magpies coach, and is out of contract at the end of the year.
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley.Credit:Getty Images
“I don’t feel like I have to be the senior coach going forward if that’s the best thing for the club and I feel that I can still impact and help the club move towards contending consistently and winning flags well then I’ll put my hand up.
“And if the club felt it was better to go in another direction then I would understand that. That conversation will be held in good faith and it’s not something that we’ll be addressing until later in the year.”
Collingwood’s position, as reported by The Age, is that the club will wait to let the season unfold before any discussions about Buckley’s contract, that they will not be rushed and that Buckley and the club and coach have an open dialogue in which they communicate regularly.
“We’re only custodians for the time we are there. We contribute to the football club as much as we can and we want to get the best out of ourselves, but you want to leave it in a better place,” Buckley added.
“Yes, if the club can be better making a change with our playing list or making a change with our coaching group or senior coach or CEO or a board member or a president, well then that should happen for the betterment of the football club. We’ve just got to keep making those decisions.”
Buckley’s position will be shaped by results, the club direction and if a superior coaching alternative emerges, with new football boss Graham Wright, an ex-teammate of Buckley’s, to be a major influence in a post-Eddie McGuire Collingwood.
“The discussions will unfold over the course of the year,” Collingwood chief executive Mark Anderson told The Age of Buckley’s contractual situation. “It’s exactly like the process he went through for the last contract extension [after 2018].”
The AFL season starts in two weeks, with Collingwood to face the Western Bulldogs on the Friday night of the opening round. The Pies will play Richmond in a pre-season match this Friday night at Marvel Stadium.
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