AFL world reacts to Nathan Buckley’s ‘fairytale’ exit

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley has left the AFL stage with a shock upset over the Melbourne Demons in a brilliant performance from the under-fire club.

Collingwood is still languishing in 16th on the ladder but claimed back to back wins with the victory over the high flying Demons.

While off the field things are no less cleaner with a potential boardroom coup underway it was a sweet send off for the long-time Pies coach as the AFL community gave him a fond farewell.

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The decision that Buckley was moving on from the Magpies mid-season shocked the AFL last week despite the crisis going on at the club and the fact his job has been a hot topic of discussion.

But all that was forgotten as Buckley finished up in the role that saw him take the club to within a kick of a premiership in 2018.

Buckley kept his emotions in check at full-time after the 17-point win despite hugging every player and staff member on the team as well as his sons.

Buckley hugging every Collingwood staff member 👌👏 #AFLDeesPies

Nathan Buckley celebrates victory with Magpies staff after his final match.Source:Getty Images

On 3AW, Tony Shaw called it “Great scenes”.

“Nathan Buckley goes out with two wins out of his last two games. It’s a sad day for the club – this man has been around the club for a long period of time. One of the greatest players ever to put the jumper on.”

Post-game, Buckley couldn’t wipe the smile off his face, telling Channel 7: “It’s going to be a pretty good footy team. They’re on their way.”

Buckley also spoke in his press conference saying that he’d continue to support the team that has taken up so much of his life.

“Collingwood will always be a passion and I will always want to see it as an organisation and the people within it prosper and I’ll be supporting from afar,” Buckley said.

“I’ll sit down and have a couple of beers with everyone tonight. The club goes into a bye, it’s a good feeling to go into the bye with.

“For me, I’ll go in when no one’s around and clear the office and consider what my next step is. I believe that where you’re in something you’re 100 per cent in and I think when you’re out of something, you’re 100 per cent out, otherwise you’re wasting energy."

Magpies skipper Scott Pendlebury was the best on ground in the match and told Buckley after the match, “It was great to send you out on that note mate, that was awesome, well done.”

“Three-quarter time was a little bit emotional but we stuck to the task and got it done,” Pendlebury said post-game.

“The hole left by a guy like Bucks I don’t know if it ever gets replaced. He’s a champion on and off the field.”

Great scenes at the SCG.Source:Getty Images

Channel 7 reporter Hamish McLachlan called it “a black and white fairytale”.

Social media erupted after the game with well wishes, as well as some calling for Collingwood to sack a coach every week if they play like that.

Gee that’s a good win. Well done @ncb_cfc You’ll always be a champion mate. #AFLDeesPies

Pies should sack the coach every week

Gotta say, I really enjoyed that!
They did not play like a team that just had to sack its coach!#AFLDeesPies

Not a bad way to send the coach off!! Massive games of footy this weekend 👏🏼 #AFLDeesPies

Sack Buckley every week! #AFLDeesPies

Now that’s the kind of send off he deserved. Well done to Nathan Buckley on a magnificent contribution to @CollingwoodFC since 1994. Absolute class act, as always. You deserved that!
Thanks for the memories, Bucks. pic.twitter.com/4tSAOE0Pqg

Even through my white hot rage, I still felt happy for Buckley. A star of the game. #AFLDeesPies

Extremely impressive news conference from @CollingwoodFC retiring coach Nathan Buckley – emotional maturity through self awareness and open to always learning. Wow. Thank you Bucks and continue on a great journey.

Brisbane Lions great Jonathan Brown also praised Buckley as the On the Couch team discussed whether he would be back in the hot seat in the future.

“I’ve seen this first-hand how difficult it is for past champions to coach their footy club. I saw it with Michael Voss, incredibly difficult to coach players that you’ve played with,” he said during Fox Footy’s On The Couch.

“Bucks has had a very successful career doing that over 10 years.

“He’s been there 10 years, he was the coach of the year in 2018 when they were within 90 seconds of a premiership.

“We can’t underrate how difficult that would have been, and obviously the circumstances around Collingwood and how big of a club they are.”

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