Buckley keen to see what resurgent Tigers will do
Richmond's recruiting and their ongoing strong AFL culture has Nathan Buckley bullish about what the resurgent Tigers will achieve this season.
The former Collingwood coach also expects his old club to continue on from their remarkable rise last season and has no doubt premiers Geelong will remain in flag contention.
Collingwood's stunning season last year, when they shot up from second last in 2021 to a narrow preliminary-final loss, will have all clubs hopeful of what can be achieved this season.
When asked who the next Magpies might be, Buckley had a more narrow range of potential ladder improvement.
After missing the finals in 2021, the Tigers made an elimination final last season and then made it clear they think their premiership window remains open, by recruiting GWS stars Tim Taranto and Jacob Hopper.
"They're still finalists in their own right, but I think Richmond, their capacity to rebuild their team on the fly with Hopper and Taranto coming in and despite (Jason) Castagna's retirement - they still have a really good structure, a really good connection in the football club," Buckley said.
"I'd expect them to be right up there at the end of the year."
Speaking at Tuesday's launch of the Carlton Draft community football program, Buckley also is confident his Magpies will continue on from last year, although perhaps with not as many tight wins.
"The Pies were amazing, to have that run and momentum of close games, it was hard not to get caught up in, for everyone," Buckley said.
"They can continue that trajectory - it's going to be hard to win as many close games.
"To get back to a 15-win season, it's going to be tough for them. But I still see them as finalists."
The Cats have suffered a pre-season blow, with Jack Henry suffering a broken bone in his foot.
But they also have recruited well, bringing in Henry's brother Ollie (Collingwood), Jack Bowes (Gold Coast) and Taylor Bruhn (Giants).
"They seem to be able to replace and create depth and competition for spots really well," Buckley said.
"I have no fears for them being able to handle missing a few.
"It seems like they're as hungry as ever, I'd expect them to go really well."