Buck­ley’s re-sign­ing cause for op­ti­mism

Shepparton News - - SPORT - By Rodney Woods

As one-eyed as any Colling­wood sup­porter, the re-sign­ing of coach Nathan Buck­ley gets me ex­cited for Colling­wood’s future.

Some of you may think this is plain stupid, con­sid­er­ing Colling­wood’s lad­der po­si­tion has de­clined ev­ery year since he took over in 2012 and this year was the only sea­son the win-loss record had im­proved (al­beit by a game).

And yes, I have had my doubts as well. But to help my point I will use Rich­mond as a case study.

How can a team such as the Tigers — who have the rep­u­ta­tion of fin­ish­ing ninth — help my cause, I hear you ask. And I am glad you did! As it was on April 9 last year, af­ter what was de­scribed as a ‘‘slug­gish’’ start to the sea­son, Tigers coach Damien Hard­wick said ‘‘we might have to take a little half step back to go two steps for­ward, but I’m very con­fi­dent we will take the two steps for­ward’’.

At the time, he was heav­ily crit­i­cised for these com­ments and as the Tigers fell to 13th (where Colling­wood fin­ished this year), there were many calls for Hard­wick to lose his job, de­spite be­ing given a two-year ex­ten­sion only months ear­lier.

But a re­view, sim­i­lar to that be­ing com­pleted at the Pies, re­sulted in many of Hard­wick’s as­sis­tants leav­ing the club and now, with the Tiger Army on the pounce and just three wins away from their first premier­ship since 1980, Hard­wick’s com­ments ring true.

While Rich­mond had played in three con­sec­u­tive fi­nals se­ries in the lead-up to Hard­wick be­ing re­signed, I be­lieve there is still some re­sem­blance be­tween the Tigers and my Mag­pies.

With a per­cent­age of 99 show­ing Colling­wood’s com­pet­i­tive­ness this year and the av­er­age mar­gin of the team’s 12 losses be­ing just 19 points, this sea­son showed me that things were start­ing to turn for the bet­ter — the first time I have felt this since Bucks has taken charge.

With ru­mours around Bucks’ future put to rest and the play­ers clearly be­hind their coach, I see a light at the end of the tun­nel that will make any sup­porter of the 17 other teams be­gin to cringe.

Go Pies! ● Rodney Woods is a Coun­try News jour­nal­ist.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.