AFL 2021: Nathan Buckley coaching future, Collingwood Magpies, problems, bad start, analysis, AFL 360, latest news

AFL 2021: Nathan Buckley coaching future, Collingwood Magpies, problems, bad start, analysis, AFL 360, latest news

It would take “a show of faith” from Collingwood to retain Nathan Buckley as coach, according to AFL 360 co-host Gerard Whateley, who otherwise “doesn’t know how” he would keep his job.

The Magpies remain anchored near the bottom of the ladder, sitting outright 17th on just one win through seven rounds, ahead of only North Melbourne who they face this week in a potential wooden spoon decider.

Buckley, who is out of contract at the end of the season, is under intense external pressure, though Magpies football boss Graham Wright said before Saturday’s loss to Gold Coast that a Buckley contract extension “all tracks in the right direction”.

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Whateley and his AFL 360 co-host Mark Robinson can’t quite comprehend that, arguing there will be a “threshold” of wins the Magpies must meet for Buckley to remain as coach – and that they’ll struggle to meet it.

“Nathan Buckley gave us a time frame on which to judge them after the Giants game, which had a lot of the same qualities of what happened on Saturday,” Whateley said on Fox Footy.

“He said there was four to six weeks – they’ve gone loss, loss, loss at the start of that.”

Magpies GM of Football Graham Wright (left) will help determine Nathan Buckley’s future. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Buckley last week finally declared publicly he wants to continue as Collingwood coach, after months of speculation regarding his passion for the job, but the Magpies’ horror start is making that more and more difficult.

Robinson asked: “Tell me how Bucks can keep his job?”

“I don’t know now. It’s just a show of faith right now,” Whateley replied.

“There is going to be a threshold and I don’t think they’re going to meet the threshold. That’s usually seven or eight wins … if they go 5-17, it’s really hard to survive that, unless there’s something proactive that’s done.”

Collingwood faces winless North Melbourne next, followed by games against three teams currently in the top eight – Sydney (away), Port Adelaide and Geelong.

If the Magpies aren’t going to look at their win-loss record to determine Buckley’s future, the only alternative is to re-sign him now, according to Herald Sun chief footy writer Robinson.

“Unless they announce in the next week that Nathan Buckley, we have decided, we don‘t care what anyone else thinks, we believe that Nathan Buckley is the man to take us forward,” he said.

“Fine! Do it. Announce it. Buckley has said he wants to coach – take him on face value, I do. And then get to the business of healing.”

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