Pies continue to play waiting game on Nathan Buckley

By , Jason Phelan is a Roar Guru

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    Collingwood president Eddie McGuire says the AFL club’s board has still not decided whether Nathan Buckley will coach the Magpies next season.

    McGuire spoke to reporters after a board meeting on Tuesday night where football boss Geoff Walsh tabled his preliminary report after his far-reaching review of the football department.

    McGuire and his board members need time to digest the report’s findings, which will mean Buckley will coach the side against Melbourne on Saturday not knowing if he will keep his job.

    “We haven’t come to a position yet,” McGuire replied when asked about Buckley’s tenure.

    “Seriously, there is nothing tricky about this. We’ve had a board meeting, Geoff Walsh tabled his preliminary document that has given us some thoughts to go away with.

    “We’ll consider it now then come back and make our decisions.”

    Buckley is about to come off contract and his future has been one of this season’s major stories.

    He has been at the helm for six years and this is the fourth season in a row the Pies have missed the finals.

    They are 13th with eight wins and end their season against the Demons on Saturday at the MCG.

    Buckley has handled himself with aplomb despite the ongoing scrutiny and uncertainty.

    The report from Walsh is one of three internal reviews at the underperforming club and McGuire defended the amount of time it has taken for the review to be completed.

    “It’s not just one decision, it’s trying to come up with a template for what the future of the Collingwood Football Club is,” he said.

    “So everything is at stake at our football club, it’s a very serious document, that’s why we have taken a long time and a lot of consideration to get to this point.

    “There’s been no stone left unturned. Now we’ll go and digest that and make a considered decision.”

    There have been several reports in recent weeks that the club is leaning towards a scenario similar to the ones that played out at Richmond last year and Geelong in 2006.

    Changes were made after exhaustive reviews but under-pressure coaches Damien Hardwick and Mark Thompson survived and went on to enjoy much-improved seasons – the Tigers are currently fourth and the Cats won the 2007 flag.

    Regardless of whether Buckley stays, a shake-up of Collingwood’s football department is inevitable.

    © AAP 2017