Nathan Buckley declares to the footy world: ‘I won’t be coaching next year’
Collingwood legend Nathan Buckley says he won’t be coaching any AFL club in 2023, declaring he doesn’t “feel the need to bring that stress back into my life at this point”.
Buckley’s name was thrust back into the coaching spotlight on Thursday after Leon Cameron announced he’d resigned as Giants coach.
The seven-time All-Australian has been absent from the AFL coaches’ box since stepping down from his role at Collingwood halfway through the 2021 season.
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Buckley spent almost 10 seasons in charge at the Magpies, taking his club to five finals appearances — including the famous 2018 Grand Final in which the Pies lost by under a kick — and finishing with an overall win-loss record of 112-92-2.
Asked by Fox Footy’s Kath Loughnan if he’d entertain the prospect of coaching the Giants if the club called him, Buckley told Best on Ground: “Nup. I won’t be coaching next year. I’m enjoying (being) on this couch too much.”
Asked if he’d consider coaching in 2024, Buckley said with a smile “we’ll talk about that later” before adding: “Right now, having had the time out of the game and enjoyed the space that I’ve been in with Fox and SEN without the stress and pressure of coaching, I’ve actually really enjoyed myself and the situations I’ve found myself in.
“I don’t feel the need to bring that stress back into my life at this point.
“If I don’t have that in my heart then I can’t do it for myself first and foremost, but I wouldn’t be doing the right thing by an organisation walking in if you were three-quarters ready.
“I can’t see myself doing it next year.”
Cameron will coach the Giants for the final time on Sunday when his club takes on Carlton at Giants Stadium.
Four-time premiership Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson has already been linked to the vacant role, while Essendon legend James Hird, ex-Dockers and Saints coach Ross Lyon, new Giants caretaker Mark McVeigh and former Adelaide coach Don Pyke are all expected to be in the mix for the position.
St Kilda champion Nick Riewoldt nominated Hird as his preferred candidate.
Clarkson initially said “there’s 18 (clubs), and hopefully soon 19 clubs that I wouldn’t hesitate to coach”, but then spoke about his desire to find a club with the potential to win a premiership.