Buckley ready for AFL coaching pressure - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Buckley ready for AFL coaching pressure

25/02/2010 05:46:01 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood's coaching future beyond Mick Malthouse will be on show on Friday when his soon-to-be successor Nathan Buckley tests himself as a senior AFL coach for the first time.

Buckley will coach the Magpies during the pre-season practice match against Adelaide in Alice Springs as part of Malthouse's policy of rotating pre-season head coaching among his offsiders.

Buckley is scheduled to take the reins of the Magpies permanently in 2012 as part of a long-term succession plan, spending the next two seasons learning the trade as an assistant coach.

While the former champion player admits there will be added pressure, he says he is looking forward to testing himself at the highest level against the Crows.

"I'm three months in now, through a pre-season, and the rotation policy has found me in this seat and I've enjoyed the week so far," Buckley said on Thursday.

"There's no doubt there's an extra bit of pressure that goes on, there's more responsibility, more ownership of the whole team.

"It's a steep learning curve but I'm enjoying it all."

Earlier this month Malthouse had said Buckley's coaching experience, which had previously been confined to under-16 level, was "a mile off" what he would need to coach in the AFL.

But Buckley, who is the Magpies' forwards coach, agreed with Malthouse's comments.

"Ultimately he's spot on," Buckley said.

"He was talking about the under-16s and the quote was about how far under-16 level is from AFL level and I don't think any level-minded person would argue with that statement.

"My experiences in the 16s, they hold you in some stead having a coaching role of some sort.

"But already the three months I have had in the assistant coaching role has superseded that.

"This week's another opportunity to go a step further."

Buckley said ruckman Josh Fraser, who was rested from last week's loss to the Saints, would play against the Crows.

Fraser is on the comeback trail from off-season knee surgery.

"Josh will come up - he'll be exposed through the ruck and down forward as well. It's a real opportunity for him to get some match practice in," Buckley said.

The Magpies will rest several regulars from the Crows clash, including captain Nick Maxwell and new ruck recruit Darren Jolly.

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