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'No position yet' on Buckley's future at Collingwood

Football

Nathan Buckley will go into Collingwood’s final-round AFL clash against Melbourne not knowing if it will be his last game as coach.

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And his club’s board doesn’t know either.

Magpies president Eddie McGuire told reporters after a board meeting last night that it had still not been decided if Buckley will be offered a new contract.

Football boss Geoff Walsh tabled a preliminary report after his far-reaching review of the football department at the meeting.

McGuire and his board members need time to digest the report’s findings, which means Buckley’s future remains up in the air.

“We haven’t come to a position yet,” McGuire replied when asked about Buckley’s tenure.

“Seriously, there is nothing tricky about this. We’ve had a board meeting, Geoff Walsh tabled his preliminary document that has given us some thoughts to go away with.

“We’ll consider it now then come back and make our decisions.”

When pressed on when Pies fans will know who will coach their club next year McGuire replied: “When we tell them, but not too far away.”

Buckley has been at the helm for six years and this is the fourth season in a row Collingwood have missed the finals.

They are 13th with eight wins and end their season against the Demons on Saturday at the MCG.

Buckley has handled himself with aplomb despite the ongoing scrutiny and uncertainty about his position.

Buckley lays down the law to his players. Photo: Michael Errey / InDaily

The report from Walsh is one of three internal reviews at the underperforming club. McGuire defended the amount of time it has taken for the review to be completed.

“It’s not just one decision, it’s trying to come up with a template for what the future of the Collingwood Football Club is,” he said.

“So everything is at stake at our football club, it’s a very serious document, that’s why we have taken a long time and a lot of consideration to get to this point.

“There’s been no stone left unturned. Now we’ll go and digest that and make a considered decision.”

There have been several reports in recent weeks that the club is leaning towards a scenario similar to the ones that played out at Richmond last year and Geelong in 2006.

Changes were made after exhaustive reviews but under-pressure coaches Damien Hardwick and Mark Thompson survived and went on to enjoy much-improved seasons – the Tigers are currently fourth and the Cats won the 2007 flag.

Regardless of whether Buckley stays, a shake-up of Collingwood’s football department is inevitable.

-AAP

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