Buckley could earn new Pies deal: McGuire

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    Collingwood president Eddie McGuire insists embattled coach Nathan Buckley could earn an AFL contract extension before season’s end.

    Speculation about Buckley’s future reached fever pitch after the Magpies slumped to their fourth consecutive defeat with a 37-point loss to Essendon on Saturday.

    Buckley admitted the ongoing uncertainty about his position was weighing heavily on his players, describing himself as “pragmatic” about his future.

    Chief executive Gary Pert on Tuesday took the unusual step of addressing the players to inform them Buckley was safe until after round 23, and McGuire also weighed in upon returning from overseas.

    The long-serving powerbroker said Buckley would be judged on the team’s performance over the entire season, noting that other coaches had turned things around after being written off

    “The hysteria this week has been something that has quite shocked me and quite appalled me,” McGuire told Fox Footy on Friday.

    “The chief executive officer went down, spoke to the players and said that there will be no announcement one way or another on Nathan Buckley until the end of Collingwood’s season.

    “That’s all there is to say. The rest of it is just absolute rubbish.

    “”This year, in no particular order, Alastair Clarkson was worn out at Hawthorn, (Sydney’s) John Longmire was gone, (Fremantle’s) Ross Lyon couldn’t coach to save himself, (Port Adelaide’s) Ken Hinkley had overstayed his welcome.

    “What’s going on? It’s absolutely gone mad, this stuff.”

    McGuire brokered the controversial 2009 agreement where Mick Malthouse handed over the senior coaching role to Buckley two years later.

    Collingwood finished fourth in 2012 but their win-loss record has worsened every year since, and they are set to finish outside the top eight for a fourth straight season.

    The Magpies on Saturday face struggling Gold Coast, whose coach Rodney Eade is similarly under siege.

    © AAP 2017
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