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Nathan Buckley in 'surprise' development amid Richmond's search for new head coach

Adam Yze has emerged as the front-runner to take over from Damien Hardwick at the Tigers.

Nathan Buckley, pictured here alongside Adam Yze and Simon Goodwin.
Nathan Buckley was spotted attending a meeting at Richmond, with Adam Yze emerging as the front-runner to be the Tigers' new head coach. Image: Channel 7/Getty

Nathan Buckley has been spotted attending a meeting of high-powered Richmond figures amid their search for a new head coach. Damien Hardwick stepped down from the role earlier this year and has since linked up with the Gold Coast Suns, with Andrew McQualter acting as interim Tigers coach for the remainder of the season.

According to Channel 7, Melbourne assistant coach Adam Yze has emerged as the front-runner to take over as Richmond's head coach after he was spotted at the club's headquarters twice this week. Channel 7 camera also spotted former Collingwood coach Buckley attending a meeting on Tuesday, with the club seemingly using him as a sounding board for advice.

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“It certainly was a surprise to see Nathan Buckley part of the Tigers’ coaching search today as it reaches decision time at Punt Road,” Channel 7 reporter Mitch Cleary said. “The former Collingwood coach (was) part of a three-hour meeting in the heart of Richmond .... as an expert consultant.”

Recently-retired Richmond captain Trent Cotchin was also spotted attending the meeting, as was Melbourne Storm general manager Frank Ponissi. Tigers chief executive Brendon Gale said: “It was a good meeting. It’s a very exciting process and one that’ll be re-energising (for the club)."

Yze, who recently missed out on head coaching roles at GWS and Essendon (to Adam Kingsley and Brad Scott), said: "I’m not sure how it’s going to go. (I) can’t comment too much. They’ve got some decisions to make (but) it was good fun. I feel like I’ve presented really well so hopefully that’s enough and we’ll see how we go."

Simon Goodwin and Adam Yze, pictured here at Melbourne Demons training.
Simon Goodwin and Adam Yze at Melbourne Demons training. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Adrian Dodoro leaving role at Essendon

Elsewhere on Tuesday, Essendson announced long-time recruiting boss Adrian Dodoro will leave the role. It comes as another major change to the club's football department after head of football Josh Mahoney joined the AFL last month.

Essendon announced that Dodoro would "step back" from his current role after the November national draft, with Matt Rosa becoming the Bombers' new talent and operations manager. Rosa played 207 games for West Coast and the Suns.

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Dodoro is a life member at Essendon and has worked at the club in various roles for nearly three decades. He has been a polarising figure in the media and among Bombers fans, particularly given Essendon's failure to win a final since 2004.

Essendon were in contention for the finals with two rounds left in the regular season in 2023, before falling out of contention badly. They lost to GWS by 21 goals before being trounced by Collingwood by 70 points.

"I approached Craig (club chief executive Craig Vozzo) back in April to discuss the concept of transition and I feel that now is the right time to make this decision," Dodoro said in a statement. "I sat on the panel to assist in the selection of Matt and I believe he will be an outstanding acquisition to the Club for years to come. I look forward to working with Matt moving forward.

"These roles are very taxing on individuals and their families and it just feels like that. After nearly three decades and with stability in key roles at the club, now is the right time for me to take a step back into a role which will provide me and my family with a better work-life balance."

with AAP

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