Jon Ralph has touted under-fire Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley as a candidate for the vacant position of the AFL Football Operations Manager should the Magpies opt to move him on at season’s end.
The Herald Sun journalist believes that Buckley’s skills lend perfectly to the role formerly held by Simon Lethlean, who stood down last week amidst an alleged affair with a younger female staff member.
“If he does go, I couldn’t think of a better AFL Football Operations Manager,” Ralph said on SEN’s The Run Home.
“Think about Nathan’s skillset. I’m not sure he is an amazing match-day coach, but he is loving the process side of stuff.
“Exceptional relationships across the league and very strong relationships within AFL House. He’s been on the rules of the game committee. The pay is 900 grand which is handy too.
“I look at Nathan and think ‘That’s what we’re good at these days within the industry.’ Not throwing them out as a failed coach but saying ‘How can we better utilise them?’
“He would be a spectacular success and he is unimpeachably credible. He has got so much integrity in a position that has lost a little bit of that.”
Ralph believes that Buckley is “fighting like hell” to keep his current job at Collingwood, with the 6-10 Pies only a mathematical chance of playing finals footy this year.
The club have publicly stated that they will hold on making any decision on Buckley’s future until season’s end.
Fellow Herald Sun writer Mark Robinson told SEN’s Crunch Time on Saturday that Richmond CEO Brendon Gale would be his preferred choice for the position, while current Rugby League Players Association head Ian Prendergast has also been touted as Lethlean’s successor.