Malthouse, Buckley sign new 'Pies deals - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Malthouse, Buckley sign new 'Pies deals

28/07/2009 06:51:40 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood insist their unprecedented coaching succession plan will work despite the potential for Mick Malthouse to hand control to Nathan Buckley when neither is ready.

Magpies president Eddie McGuire hailed as "wonderful" the re-signing of Malthouse to coach the AFL club for 2010-11 with Buckley as an assistant, before a handover in 2012 when Malthouse becomes director of coaching and Buckley begins as senior coach.

Collingwood's signing of the two men until 2014 completes a dream many outside the club thought impossible, especially given two iron-willed characters must work closely together in pursuit of the club's next premiership.

Malthouse on Tuesday stressed he "won't have to look over his shoulder", and Buckley said there was no mistrust between the pair even though many liked to think there was.

But the timeframe on the takeover raised questions over whether Malthouse would be ready to step aside, and whether Buckley is the coach-in-waiting the Magpies desperately hope he is.

Malthouse, 55, said last week he felt he was at the peak of his powers and could potentially coach into his 60s, but was more evasive on Tuesday, and did not want to speculate on the future.

"Two years in football is a massive amount of time, (2011) will be my 40th year (involved in the game)," he said.

"Do I want to go 41, 42, 43? Probably in the way the club's designed."

Although a champion former player and skipper, Buckley is untried as a coach, and the 37-year-old admitted his appointment carried an element of risk.

"You can only ever judge decisions in retrospect, there's been a lot of decisions that AFL clubs have made along the way - not just Collingwood but others - and I would suggest that this is a little bit different to what we've seen in the past," he said.

"When coaches get changed it's throw the baby out with the bath water and there's basically a full shift ... I think with a smoother transfer that's something that most people will suggest in the fullness of time has got to be more positive."

McGuire also acknowledged Buckley's appointment was a "leap of faith", but believed the succession plan had the Magpies well-positioned to build on the improvement they have shown under Malthouse in recent years.

"It's a wonderful day for our football club to have men of the integrity of Nathan Buckley and particularly Michael Malthouse commit themselves for the next five years in the relentless pursuit of excellence," he said.

"Everyone associated with sport knows the reason why we turn up every week is there are no certainties in what we're doing, but we give ourselves a chance."

Although Collingwood's revolutionary plan will prompt scepticism, one rival club acclaimed it as a trailblazer.

Sydney coach Paul Roos, who coaches from the boundary line and whose assistant John Longmire is coaching coordinator, described Collingwood's decision as "the way of the future".

"It doesn't surprise me," Roos said.

"Teams are now looking to beef up assistant coaching roles and the senior coaching role is such a big role now, they are starting to look at transition periods and succession plans.

"In terms of Mick's position, I don't think it's undermined at all. I think it strengthens Mick's position having Nathan there."

Collingwood were evasive about the details of Malthouse's role beyond 2012, as McGuire, Malthouse, chief executive Gary Pert and football chief Geoff Walsh are yet to outline the parameters.

But it is expected Malthouse will mentor the coaches, advise the football department and report to Walsh.

"It's three years away ... we're not going to telegraph to the world what we're going to do in three years time," McGuire said.

Buckley, who had been offered the North Melbourne coaching position and was to meet with Richmond this week, admitted he had considered working at a rival club to further his coaching education.

That was until he, Malthouse and the club hierarchy finalised the plan last weekend.

The Kangaroos and Tigers are the only two clubs searching for full-time coaches, as Western Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade is expected to re-sign soon.

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