Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley made the unusual move of directly addressing a recent article about him in the Herald Sun, which noted his failure to win an AFL premiership thus far in his AFL playing and coaching career.
The Magpies enjoyed a 24-point win over Carlton on Sunday evening, but the article, which was written to highlight Buckey’s 200th game as Collingwood head coach, clearly ruffled the league great’s feathers.
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The piece referenced comments Buckley had made back in 2012, in which he said there was ‘no way I can possibly fill that void’ of not having won an AFL flag.
While the rest of the piece was relatively benign, Buckley made a point of bringing it up at the end of his post-game press conference.
The 48-year-old said was ‘far from empty’.
“Can I just say something,” he said after reporters had finished their questions.
“I know there was an article in the paper the other day, I don’t want to make it all about me — it was about emptiness.
“I just want to put on record my life is very far from empty.
“I don’t have a flag, I’ll be working towards it, but it’s not going to define me whether I get it or not.
“My life is very full. I’m very fortunate I’ve got a lot of love, a great club, a great group of boys and I’m looking forward to whatever the next couple of months brings.”
Magpies up in arms over Nathan Buckley article
Buckley wasn’t the only Collingwood figure to take issue with the article, as Magpies president Eddie McGuire also weighed in.
The longtime club president and media figure labelled the report ‘bizarre’ and vehemently supported his coach and former star player.
“I just couldn’t think that going into a game that had so much excitement about it that there was this negativity that Bucks had not won a premiership,” he said on Triple M.
“He’s done everything, you couldn’t have a person who could give more of himself and keep fronting up, the spirit of what football is all about.
“You miss the point in football, sometimes there’s more to it than just a premiership.”