Sport AFL Collingwood extends Buckley’s deal despite again missing AFL finals

Collingwood extends Buckley’s deal despite again missing AFL finals

Nathan Buckley
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley has been handed a new two-year deal. Photo: AAP
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Collingwood has handed under-fire coach Nathan Buckley a new two-year contract despite again failing to reach the AFL finals.

Buckley has been Collingwood mentor since 2012, but the Magpies have not made the AFL top eight since 2013.

“I’m rapt to be supported in the role. I woke up this morning to the news and I was suitably humbled and a little bit nervous, to be honest. I’ve always had a really strong understanding of what’s going to happen and how it needs to be,” Buckley told the media.

“The facts are we’ve got some work to do and I’m rapt at … the recommendations from the review that was run through the club by [head of football] Geoff Walsh and [interim chief executive] Peter Murphy.

“There are risks with any decision you make, but I would hope that the information that was gleaned and the thoroughness of the review was such that I’m glad that I’ve been supported to continue my tenure and continue the work we’ve put in place the last couple of years.”

The 2017 season has seen Collingwood finish 13th, a full 10 points outside the top eight. The previous three seasons saw Collingwood finish 12th, 12th and 11th respectively.

Collingwood won just nine matches this season.

Club president Eddie McGuire said he has “never felt more buoyant” about the Magpies than he does now.

“The easiest decision in the past few days would have been to sack the coach,” McGuire said.

“Side by side isn’t just a logo or a slogan, it’s what we do here.”

Nathan Buckley
Nathan Buckley says the club has some work to do, but he is thankful for the club’s support. Photo: AAP

McGuire said everyone at the higher levels of the club have had a “good look at ourselves” in the review.

“We have seen the way this list plays for Nathan. He is a man of the highest integrity, he has compassion for his players on and off the field, he is uncompromising in his commitment to the role and we believe he is taking this group in the right direction,” club president Eddie McGuire said.

“As a club we instigated a list rebuild following our 2013 campaign and Nathan has been exemplary in his commitment to developing the young talent brought on to our list and creating a team-first ethos that we believe will take us back to where we want to be as a club.

“The club has taken the One Collingwood blueprint process very seriously and the board took time to consider all the information presented at our meeting on Tuesday night. With the benefit of that in-depth report we, as a board, believe Nathan is the right person to lead this club forward.”