More re­laxed Malt­house won’t be set­tling scores from the com­men­tary box

Herald Sun - Switched On - - On The Couch -

also be re­cruited for the tra­di­tional Colling­wood v Essendon An­zac Day clash.

Malt­house has had a some­times-testy re­la­tion­ship with Buck­ley, ad­mit­ting they were ‘‘ never the best of mates’’. He was clearly un­happy when Mag­pies pres­i­dent Eddie Mcguire de­vised the plan to make Buck­ley coach from 2012.

De­spite that, the 58-year- old says he will be pro­vid­ing ‘‘ ad­vice’’ rather than crit­i­cism from the com­men­tary box.

‘‘ I’m not go­ing to de­stroy any­one,’’ Malt­house says. ‘‘ You’ve got to speak your mind but I don’t think there’s go­ing to be any­thing per­sonal.’’

Malt­house joins an ex­panded Seven com­men­tary team headed by Bruce Mca­vaney and Den­nis Cometti, set to call four AFL matches each week.

New re­cruits in­clude for­mer Gee­long and Swans cap­tains Cameron Ling and Brett Kirk.

Seven will screen AFL matches on its main chan­nel as well as dig­i­tal chan­nel 7Mate.

Malt­house sounds pos­i­tively re­laxed in the lead-up to the start of the AFL home and away sea­son.

In past years, Malt­house would be to­tally im­mersed in pre-sea­son tac­tics. Last week, he had time to take his grand­chil­dren to Melbourne’s Moomba Fes­ti­val. He’s even crack­ing jokes.

‘‘ It is a dif­fer­ent world (for me) now. I used to be so to­tally ab­sorbed in what was tak­ing place in what is a very nar­row cor­ri­dor of life (AFL foot­ball).

‘‘ When you’re coach­ing it’s all or noth­ing. Now I’m get­ting to spend more time with the wife (Nanette), though I’m not sure if she likes that.’’

Malt­house be­lieves Colling­wood, Gee­long and Hawthorn are the teams to beat in 2012. Fre­man­tle, with new coach Ross Lyon, could also mount a chal­lenge.

Can the Mag­pies go one bet­ter and snatch an­other flag with new coach Buck­ley?

Yes, says Malt­house. Hawthorn v Colling­wood, Chan­nel 7, March 30, 7.30pm

New man: It’s a dif­fer­ent world for Mick Malt­house.

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