Voss backs Buckley as an AFL coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Voss backs Buckley as an AFL coach

By Laine Clark 22/06/2009 07:27:46 PM Comments (0)

Michael Voss has backed Nathan Buckley to follow his lead and make a successful transition from AFL player to senior coach without serving an apprenticeship.

Voss's successor as Brisbane coach, Leigh Matthews, said last week it would make no sense for Collingwood to ditch Mick Malthouse for next season in favour of their longtime former skipper.

That is likely to be a moot point as Malthouse seems likely to be offered a new deal by Collingwood, who moved into the top four following Saturday's win over Sydney.

But Buckley is certain to be strongly considered for the vacant North Melbourne and Richmond jobs in 2010.

Voss has won rave reviews for his first year in the top job at Brisbane and insists that Buckley is also ready to "step up".

"He's had the pressure of being the captain of the Collingwood football club," Voss said in Brisbane on Monday.

"He's had that constant pressure on him since the day he walked into the Brisbane Bears back in 1993.

"He's had pressure throughout his whole career.

"If anyone is able to step up (to AFL coaching) it will be Nathan."

Voss did agree with Matthews that being a strong on-field leader only added to Buckley's coaching claims.

"I think that is critical. Ultimately you need leadership qualities and Nathan has that in spades," he said.

"It's being able to apply them as a coach, that's the difficulty.

"Having the skills to do that, it's a critical thing to have and Nathan has that."

Voss had initially agreed to serve an apprenticeship at West Coast before jumping at the chance to coach his beloved Lions when Matthews stepped aside last year.

The three-time premiership-winning Lions captain took up the coaching reins just three years after retiring - the same feat Buckley is contemplating.

While Buckley has not officially had any AFL coaching experience, Voss said the former Collingwood leader should not be underestimated.

"There's one thing I know about Nathan Buckley. He wouldn't have sat there for the last two years waiting for his opportunity," he said.

"He would be doing things behind the scenes that we don't even know about to make sure he is skilled enough so when he thinks the time is right (to coach) he should go for it.

"It comes down to what has Nathan done in the last two years that will make him better prepared to step into a senior coaching job.

"I will guarantee you that he hasn't just been (TV) commentating."

Meanwhile, Gold Coast's inaugural chief executive Travis Auld didn't waste time on his first official day of work, all but guaranteeing Guy McKenna the AFL coaching job in 2011.

So impressed had Auld been with McKenna as the inaugural coach, he agreed it would be "unfair" to ditch the former West Coast star and ex-Magpies assistant when his contract expires at the end of 2010.

"Especially after doing all the hard yards," he said.

McKenna has steered the Gold Coast to fifth in the TAC Cup under 18 competition after 11 rounds with a 5-4-1 (win-loss-draw) record.

But Auld said on-field results would be "one of the lesser priorities" when assessing McKenna's impact.

Auld admitted it was "emotional" when he finished work at Essendon on Friday after 10 years as their chief operating officer.

But the excitement of beginning work on a "blank canvas" soon tempered that.

Auld also cast his eye on building their player list, but did not believe it hinged on "getting that big name".

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