'Huge twist': Nathan Buckley's bombshell statement on AFL future

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Nathan Buckley talks to the media at Collingwood training. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Nathan Buckley talks to the media at Collingwood training. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Nathan Buckley has declared he still wants to be Collingwood coach beyond 2021 amid speculation about his future.

Rumours have been swirling for weeks that Buckley won't be at the helm of the Magpies in 2022 following a tumultuous 12 months.

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Buckley, now in his 10th season as Pies coach, has maintained throughout the year that he will do whatever is best for Collingwood in regards to his own position beyond this season.

On Wednesday, he confirmed he is eager to continue as coach in 2022 and beyond.

The 48-year-old insisted his coaching style would not be any different if he had a longer contract in place and is confident the uncertainty around his future is not affecting his players.

"Do I want to continue? The short answer is yes," Buckley said.

"As we've been really consistent with, and there still comes questions with it, is that we'll have that conversation in the back half of the year.

"That's what I want to do because regardless of what I think I want to do for Nathan Buckley, the only thing that matters is what's best for the Collingwood footy club."

'Huge twist' as Nathan Buckley commits to coaching

AFL 360 host Mark Robinson described Buckley's comments as a "huge twist",

“I’m glad to hear Nathan Buckley wants to coach … they’re playing a game of tennis and he has rifled a forehand down the line and it’s now Collingwood waiting to play it back," Robinson said.

“They’re not going to play it back … until Round 15-16. It will be hot on the agenda. That’s where it will heat up.

“Buckley has told Collingwood he wants to coach and now it is up to Graham Wright, Paul Licuria, Peter Murphy and Mark Anderson to decide on his future. 

"That’s where it lands. In the meantime everyone will have an opinion from this weekend until Round 15.”

Nathan Buckley, pictured here during Collingwood's clash with Essendon on Anzac Day.
Nathan Buckley looks on during Collingwood's clash with Essendon on Anzac Day. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Co-host Gerard Whateley said Collingwood should jump at the chance to re-sign Buckley.

“If Buckley is chips in, I’m re-signing him immediately,” Whateley said.

“If they believe that Buckley is the man to rebuild, stop this sideshow. 

"If they believe it. Clearly they don’t believe it because they would sign him.

“They didn’t have a decision to make until now because Bucks hadn’t tipped his hand, they didn’t know what they were dealing with.

“They didn’t know his level of commitment and level of determination. They didn’t know his intensions, he has now made that perfectly clear.

“Mark Anderson told us last night that they didn’t know and it was really clear it was going to be at the back-end of the season.”

with AAP

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