Collingwood have been urged to make a definitive call on Nathan Buckley‘s future as coach after the club slipped to a 1-5 start to the season.
After being perennial finals contenders over the last three seasons, the Magpies look headed for a bottom 10 finish for the first time since 2017, with the start raising questions over the still unsigned Buckley’s future at the helm.
Both the coach and the club have been non-committal when asked about the partnership, and Essendon great Matthew Lloyd said a decision needed to come within the next month.
“The first question is, ‘Nathan, do you want to coach this club next year?’,” he told Nine’s Footy Classified.
“The new president, Mark Korda, three or four weeks into the job, he’ll have to make a big call on the coach Nathan Buckley.
“We’re at Round Six right now and they’re 1-5, you’d think finals are over. You see their next four weeks, Gold Coast and North Melbourne, they’ll win a few of those, and then you’ve got the Swans and Port Adelaide.
“I think by the mid-way point they have to have made a decision as a football club on whether Nathan is their man or not, and then start to work towards who his successor will be.”
Lloyd’s view was echoed by Port Adelaide great Kane Cornes, who suggested that it would be untenable for Buckley to coach out the year if he wasn’t committed beyond 2021.
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“I need to hear (a commitment) from him, which I haven’t heard yet and no one has heard that,” he said.
“That’s the first port of call, do you want to be the coach? Are you going to dig in? Are you passionate about it?
“That’s the starting point. If that’s a no, then we may as well call it now. I think there’s a scenario at the half-way point of the year where they make the call, either he makes it or the club makes it, and then they look to re-develop the list.”
Buckley will aim to get his team’s season back on track when they host the Gold Coast Suns at the MCG in Round Seven.