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Buckley steps down as Collingwood coach

Football

Nathan Buckley will step down as Collingwood coach after Monday’s game midway through his tenth season at the helm, saying that he was “going to be tapped at some stage”.

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The 48-year-old will coach his last game for the club at the Queen’s Birthday game against Melbourne at the SCG.

Collinwood has confirmed that club assistant coach and former St Kilda champion Robert Harvey would replace Buckley as senior coach.

Buckley, a Magarey medallist with Port Adelaide in the SANFL  and Brownlow medallist with Collingwood, replaced Mick Malthouse as Magpies coach in 2012.

He told a press conference this morning that while he would have been happy to stay in the role until the end of the season, it was the right time for him to move aside.

“Nothing lasts forever, I was going to be tapped at some stage. No doubt this is the best thing for the football club,” he said.

“I’ve always felt that I’ve always given my all effort to the multiple roles that I’ve played over the last 28 years. “It’s sad that’s it’s coming to an end on Monday.”

The move comes amid an off-field battle for control of the embattled club, with former Nine Network managing director Jeff Browne leading a challenge to the incumbent board.

Collingwood sit 16th on the table with a 3-9 record, having beaten Adelaide last week.

As recently as last week, Buckley had reaffirmed his desire to continue coaching the Magpies  and commitment to the club’s “reset” process.

“The situation that we’re in is not fatal – it’s a moment in time,” Buckley said on June 4.

“There’s a lot of things that are working for us and will come through in coming years, no doubt.”

Buckley conceded in May the club had descended into “reset” mode after a month earlier saying he was “absolutely” aligned with new president Mark Korda’s assessment that finals were still on the agenda.

-with AAP

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