No difference for coach-in-waiting Buckley - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

No difference for coach-in-waiting Buckley

Sam Lienert 11/02/2011 02:29:30 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood assistant coach Nathan Buckley says he will not be treating this AFL season any differently as he prepares to take over the reins from Mick Malthouse at the end of the year.

Buckley will coach the team for Saturday night's opening round NAB Cup match against Carlton and Richmond, with the assistants to rotate through the head coaching role throughout the pre-season.

The coach-in-waiting said he was enjoying the extra responsibility this week, but it was only within the framework of Malthouse running the overall pre-season agenda.

"I have the opportunity to run some meetings this week, take the reins for the match day, but ultimately the preparation for this game and for the season proper is a lot bigger than just one week, so you're just the flagbearer for the week," Buckley said.

In a new role as opposition analyst this year, the former Magpies skipper said he would be concentrating entirely on that job, not on preparing to take over from reigning premiership coach Malthouse.

"I've got a role to play and I'll play that to the best of my capacity, so in that regard it's no different to last year at all," Buckley said.

"Obviously there may be more speculation as you get towards the end of the year with D-day getting closer.

"But ultimately everyone's focus at the club is about 2011 and mine in particular is to play my role as well as I can."

Buckley said the first competitive hit-out of the pre-season was always welcomed by the players, and the fact it was against traditional rivals Carlton and Richmond meant little.

"It's the first time against an opposition this year, so the meaning is it's your first chance to really test yourself," he said.

"We've had a couple of intra-clubs and the boys have run around for the best part of two hours in a couple of intra-clubs.

"But you end up protecting each other a little bit in those and the physicality is capped in some way.

"As soon as you come up against another rival, be it Richmond or Carlton or Greater Western Sydney or Gold Coast, with very little history, the intensity is going to go up and the challenge is going to rise."

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