Buckley feels for Jong after AFL drama

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley would readily court a rival AFL player again – so long as it stayed secret.

Buckley said he has sympathy for Lin Jong after it emerged last week that the Magpies had given the Western Bulldogs midfielder a tour of their facilities.

Jong is out of contract at the end of this season.

The Western Bulldogs tried to make light of the controversy, cheekily presenting Jong in the last few days with a Collingwood guernsey.

But Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge said he also felt for Jong.

In the wake of the news about Jong, Buckley said late last week that he would do something similar again.

Beveridge then said after Saturday night’s win over Richmond that he wondered if Buckley really felt that way.

The Collingwood coach made it abundantly clear that is exactly the case.

“Would I meet a player in the glass house (Collingwood’s headquarters)? Yes I would,” Buckley told Triple M.

“Would that player end up having to walk through our facility to go from the car park, where no one was going to see him, to the glass house, where no one was going to see him – would we do that?

“Absolutely we would.”

Buckley said everyone regretted Jong’s visit becoming public knowledge.

“If we knew it was going to be played out publicly we wouldn’t have done it,” Buckley said.

“You don’t want to be in that situation.”

Beveridge said the revelation about the visit and its aftermath had not affected his relationship with Buckley.

The Collingwood coach contacted Beveridge once Jong’s visit became public knowledge.

“It was just surprising that they would think they’d be able to pull it off,” Beveridge told 3AW.

“If you’re going to talk to a player, the priority needs to be secrecy.”

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