Former Collingwood coach and player Nathan Buckley has revealed just how emotional he was after Collingwood defeated the Lions in a thriller on Saturday to win the AFL grand final. Buckley was in charge of Collingwood amid the heartbreak of the 2018 grand final.
The AFL great admitted just how painful the 2018 loss was and how it has weighed on the club. However, an emotional Buckley has also revealed just how important the latest win was to him and former players in the team.
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Buckley, a six-time Collingwood best and fairest winner, watched the game with Nick Maxwell, Anthony Rocca, Sharrod Wellingham and Luke Ball. And Buckley said a lot of different emotions came out of him after the final siren.
“In the last couple of years in particular, the ride that Craig McRae and the club have taken us on has been huge. I have a fairly unique view of that, given my experiences at the club," Buckley said on SEN Radio.
“But the ride on Saturday was as emotional as I’ve ever been a part of. There were things coming out of me that I didn’t know were in there." Buckley added in the interview that he felt due to the 'trauma' of Collingwood in AFL grand final this win meant a little more to Magpies fans. He also added: "I had things coming up I didn't realise were there. I was openly sobbing at the final siren".
“I had my head down trying to work it all out. ‘Maxy’ and I were hugging and then ‘Pebs’ (Rocca) come across and he whispered in my ear: ‘We got one back,’” Buckley added.
“You don’t get them back, but there was a little bit of that, a little bit of ‘poor bugger me’ that came into it. But the other part is looking at guys like Jeremy Howe, Brayden Maynard, obviously Steele (Sidebottom) and ‘Pendles’ (Scott Pendlebury) have won their second one, Brody Mihocek, Jamie Elliott ...
“That’s what the pinnacle, pivotal moments bring out, is the highs and the lows, the good and the bad, the excitement, the trials and the tribulations and it’s got it all.”
Chris Fagn classy amid AFL grand final furore
The Magpies won their 16th flag and first since 2010 in an extraordinary 12.18 (90) to 13.8 (86) victory in front of 100,000 fans at the MCG. Lions fans would have felt hard done by with a number of close calls going the Magpies way, which included one in the final moments.
However, Lions coach Chris Fagn was classy in defeat and also recognised next year as a potential year for a premiership. The Lions have now made the finals five years running without a premiership to show for it. But Fagan is adamant the premiership window is still wide open.
"We're well and truly in the window," the 62-year-old said. "I think we've only just moved into the widow."
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