Buckley plan no issue at Pies: Malthouse - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Buckley plan no issue at Pies: Malthouse

20/04/2010 06:24:02 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse says he will be ready to walk away from coaching at the end of 2011 and denies the Nathan Buckley succession plan has created disharmony.

The 56-year-old, comfortably the AFL's most experienced coach, said in his 11th season with the Magpies that the unity of the football department was as strong as ever.

The handover plan, under which current assistant and former Collingwood skipper Nathan Buckley will take over for the 2012 season and Malthouse will become director of coaching, has come under frequent fire since being hatched last year.

Former Magpies skipper Tony Shaw has labelled it as an uneasy arrangement and questioned Malthouse's willingness to vacate the driver's seat, while Geelong president Frank Costa said last week it did not appear healthy.

Malthouse's abusive on-field outburst at St Kilda forward Stephen Milne during the teams' round three clash - a reaction to Milne labelling him "old", among other cruder terms - was viewed by some as a sign of the situation erupting.

The coach created some intrigue himself in an interview in March on the Nine Network's Footy Show, when he refused to rule out the prospect of coaching at another club rather than serving out the three-year non-coaching aspect of his Collingwood deal.

But he said on Tuesday he would be happy to move into the administrative role, describing it as an "outstanding" opportunity, after what will have been 12 years as Magpies coach.

"I'm not going to say I'm looking forward to it, because I don't want to wish my next 18 months away," Malthouse told Melbourne's SEN radio.

"I am looking forward to this, fulfilling my next 18 months (as coach) as successfully as I can and that is not singular, that is as a team.

"Then to move on to a new role is very very exciting, but I want to coach before I become that.

"People want me to say I don't want to do that job.

"I do want to do that job, but I don't want to do it today, I want to coach the side today."

Malthouse said he intended to follow the advice he offered veteran players when discussing retirement, and leave coaching while still having something to offer.

"Don't have the cup empty, because you'll be remembered as having nothing left," he said.

"If I leave in 18 months time as a senior coach with something left in the glass, so to speak, I'm getting out at the right time.

"It means I've still got something to give, but I'm not drained out."

Having had Buckley captain the club for eight seasons under him, Malthouse said the pair got on well and still do, now that he is coach-in-waiting and an assistant.

"Our football club at the moment, particularly the football department, is as strong as ever," he said.

"And I don't want to downplay what it was with (former assistants) Guy McKenna, Dean Laidley, Brad Scott, Michael Broadbridge, Blake Caracella, or any of those assistant coaches, because we just had such a great time together ... there is great harmony within our group.

"... If there's problems within a football club, sometimes they are seen on the ground, sometimes they're hidden, believe me our football club is as strong as I've ever seen it."

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