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Kangaroos keen to quiz Buckley

By Sam Lienert 17/07/2009 06:34:57 PM Comments (0)

The future of North Melbourne's AFL coaching hunt will hinge on a meeting with Nathan Buckley this weekend.

Kangaroos chief executive Eugene Arocca says president James Brayshaw will meet with former Collingwood great Buckley to gauge his intentions.

While Arocca says it is not as simple as the job being Buckley's if he wants it, his decision will determine what the `Roos do next.

"We just want to know what Nathan wants to do," Arocca said on Friday.

"We haven't made a call on whether he would get the job ahead of anyone else but we need to know is he in the game or not.

"... As soon as Nathan decides what he wants to do as a coach we can then start to plan accordingly.

"But it hasn't been `if you want it, you've got it', it's more about `What do you want to do?'

"We'll hopefully get a fix on that in the next 48 hours and we'll move on."

Arocca said the club would not demand a final answer from Buckley this weekend, but could not afford to wait for too long.

"Obviously there'll be a point in time where we simply say `Well, we've got to move on,' otherwise Richmond will get all the cream," he said in Ballarat, where North and the Tigers were launching Sunday's Eureka game.

"We've started the process, we're not just going to sit on our hands and wait for that answer."

Buckley has also had preliminary talks with Richmond about their vacant coaching position for next year, while the Magpies are understood to want him to serve as an assistant under Mick Malthouse.

Tigers chief executive Steven Wright said the Kangaroos' aggressive pursuit of Buckley would not add any urgency to the three-stage process his club has devised to filter through a list of candidates.

"We've got a process and everyone will go through that process," Wright said.

"Out of that decision, what Nathan decides to do, that's a matter for him, but we'll go down that path and I'm sure we'll get the best coach at the end of the day."

There has been speculation Buckley could be reluctant to coach under Malthouse, having already served under him as a long-time Collingwood skipper.

But Malthouse said, for his part, it would not be an issue.

"I work with anyone, I've worked with Nathan in the Australian (International Rules) side," Malthouse said.

"I've had a variety of assistant coaches ... regardless of who they are, they're given responsibilities because I'd like to think they are people who you can trust.

"They trust me, they go forward because I given them opportunity and that's the way it works.

"It matters not who the assistant coaches are, but I have four very capable assistant coaches at the moment."

Meanwhile, Port Adelaide coach Mark Williams will sign his two-year contract extension with the Power next week.

"The club have been terrific, we initially said it'd be two or three weeks (to negotiate the terms) and that's what it's going to be," Williams said.

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