Collingwood may lose another AFL coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Collingwood may lose another AFL coach

By Greg Buckle 22/09/2011 06:13:49 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse says he may lose another assistant next week but it will have no effect if they are preparing for the AFL grand final.

Magpies assistant Mark Neeld quit last week to take over as Melbourne's new senior coach.

Malthouse expects Collingwood defensive coaches Scott Watters and Max Hudghton to be strongly considered for the vacant senior position at St Kilda.

"Maxie Hudghton's the rage at the moment," Malthouse said on Thursday.

"He could be going back home (to St Kilda) and could be the dark horse, or Scott Watters.

"Maxie's a builder. Does he want to throw the building trade in to follow that? I don't know.

"One's a bit more permanent than the other."

The Saints have said they will take up to four weeks to replace Ross Lyon, who stunned the AFL with his move to Fremantle last Thursday.

But Malthouse will not fret if Watters or Hudghton are recruited quickly.

He said the defending premiers could virtually coach themselves next week if they were able to overcome Hawthorn in Friday night's AFL preliminary final at the MCG.

Former Brisbane Lions player Craig McRae has been promoted to senior midfield coach following Neeld's departure, while Anthony Rocca has also taken on more responsibility within Collingwood's coaching ranks.

"We'll cope. I'm not going to stop anyone from talking (to other clubs)," Malthouse said.

"I just expect that when they're here at this football club and when they have a job to do that they do the job.

"Mark Neeld did the job. He was fantastic right up until the time he signed.

"And then when he signed, he became the Melbourne coach. You can't have the Melbourne coach sitting on your bench.

"If Scott or Maxie Hudghton became their (St Kilda's) senior coach and it happens that quickly, well that's the way it is."

Malthouse said his senior players would also help should they go into the grand final missing another assistant coach.

"You can cope very adequately, particularly if you have a playing list that are mature and have accepted responsibilities that we give them," he said.

"I'm about empowerment.

"(Captain) Nick Maxwell, Harry O'Brien, Scott Pendlebury, Dane Swan, Luke Ball and Darren Jolly, it's pretty hard to go past the experience that they've got.

"They know what needs to be done.

"And the forward line looks after itself with other senior players."

Already four former Collingwood assistants will be senior coaches next year: Brad Scott (North Melbourne), Nathan Buckley (Collingwood), Neeld (Melbourne) and Guy McKenna (Gold Coast).

Malthouse's official handover to Buckley could come very quickly.

The three-time premiership mentor admitted he had given plenty of thought to the possibility that Friday night could be the last game of his 12-year stint at the Magpies.

"I'm just trying to take it out of the equation," said Malthouse, 58.

"There's too much at stake and too many people involved in tomorrow's game without worrying about all the individual stuff.

"As an individual it's something that of course I have thought about.

"I'm not distracted by it, not at all."

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