Matthews backs Malthouse as Pies coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Matthews backs Malthouse as Pies coach

By Laine Clark and John Salvado 17/06/2009 05:26:15 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood's most recent premiership coach Leigh Matthews says it would be completely illogical for the Magpies to ditch Mick Malthouse in favour of the untried Nathan Buckley.

In his 10th year in charge of the Magpies, Malthouse is one of five current coaches out of contract at season's end.

The 55-year-old has said he wants to continue coaching the Magpies in 2010 and beyond.

But if the club decides it wants a younger man, Malthouse intends to coach somewhere else.

With Richmond and North Melbourne already on the lookout for new coaches next year - and Mark Williams under ever-increasing pressure at Port Adelaide - Buckley shapes as the man in most demand in a fluid market.

Magpies president Eddie McGuire insisted on Wednesday that the recent departure of Terry Wallace at Richmond and Dean Laidley at North would not budge his club from their plan of not reviewing Malthouse's position until season's end.

That means Collingwood risk having Buckley - arguably the Magpies' greatest-ever player - snapped up by another club, a result that would upset the legion of fans who see him as Malthouse's natural successor.

But Matthews, who ended Collingwood's 32-year drought when he masterminded their 1990 premiership triumph, said the prospect of Buckley replacing Malthouse next year made no sense anyway.

"You've got a bloke who has never coached being compared with someone who has taken three clubs to the top four which is Mick Malthouse," Matthews said at a function on the Gold Coast.

"To even contemplate putting up someone who has never coached any club anywhere and replacing Mick Malthouse, it is quite clearly illogical.

"But the football system hasn't got a great deal of logic so that might happen.

"It's like grabbing a Year 12 kid and say let's make him the general manager of BHP (Billiton)."

After coaching Brisbane to three premierships in 2001-03, Matthews stepped down as Lions coach last year and was replaced by the untried Michael Voss - like Buckley a playing legend of his club.

"There's one qualification (for making a transition from player to coach) and that's being a very good captain," said Matthews.

"What I know of Michael Voss he should be a good coach and what I know of Nathan Buckley you would say the same.

"They were really good captains, really good on-field leaders, understood how teams worked, then they are pretty well credentialled to be senior coaches."

But Matthews, who has worked alongside Buckley in the Channel Seven commentary booth this year, said the latter's skills as a TV analyst were irrelevant when considering whether he would succeed as a coach.

"That is like comparing jockeys with trainers - no relationship at all," said Matthews.

"But people who see someone seemingly make sense with their comments on a game of footy (think) 'oh, he's going to be a good coach'.

"But nonetheless, Nathan Buckley, Michael Voss and James Hird were three fantastic players, great captains of the last 15 years, they are the players who actually have the personality, character, intellect, etc to be good coaches."

McGuire said the Magpies, still well in finals contention, had more urgent considerations than deciding next year's coach.

"Some clubs have obviously started looking at 2010, McGuire said during a presentation on Wednesday to acknowledge Malthouse becoming the third VFL/AFL coach to reach the 600-game milestone.

"At the risk of being cliched, Sydney at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night is the biggest game in the history of the Collingwood football club.

"And the week after against Fremantle will be the next biggest one.

"We've got a lot to do this year."

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