COLLINGWOOD coach Nathan Buckley has been rewarded for leading the Magpies to last year’s AFL grand final by earning a two-year contract extension.
The 46-year-old has signed a new deal to keep him at the club until at least the end of 2021.
The agreement, which will extend Buckley’s tenure to at least a decade, reflects a remarkable turnaround for both club and coach.
Buckley found himself under enormous pressure to retain his job in 2017 when the club, facing a fourth year without finals, embarked on a wide-ranging internal review.
The Magpies replaced their chief executive and appointed several new assistant coaches while making sweeping changes to their football department.
Buckley survived the bloodletting and went on to take the Magpies to their first grand final since 2013, which they agonisingly lost to West Coast by five points.
Collingwood players cited the notoriously perfectionist Buckley’s more relaxed demeanour as a key factor in their success last season.
He was named by his peers as the AFL’s senior coach of the year after the Magpies finished the home-and-away season in third spot with a 15-7 record.
“Bucks is an excellent coach and an outstanding Collingwood person who has always been club first,” club president Eddie McGuire said.
“In a way, seven seasons in, it feels as if the journey has just begun. We have always seen many qualities in Bucks, which is why we appointed him in the first place and re-appointed him back in 2017. Through the review process of that year those qualities shone through.
“We see an exciting future with him very much at the heart of it all.”
Buckley holds a career coaching record of 87 wins, 74 losses and one draw.
He is the sixth-longest serving coach in Magpies history.
© AAP 2019