Friday night’s AFL semi-finalists are the combined blueprint for bullish Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley.
Speaking at a club members’ forum on Monday night, Buckley told the Collingwood faithful their team is making progress despite missing the finals for the third-straight year.
“If we’re looking at a side we think we play closest to, it’s the (Western Bulldogs),” Buckley said.
“We think we have elements of Hawthorn in our back-half use (of the ball), but our defensive and contested focus is probably more like the Western Bulldogs than anyone else.
Collingwood lost to the Bulldogs in round 21 by three points and Hawthorn needed a late goal in the final round to beat the Magpies by one point.
“We developed our resilience and belief over the second half of year,” Buckley said.
The last-gasp win over the Magpies secured Hawthorn their double chance, which they are using after the epic Friday night loss to Geelong.
The Magpies have reacted to another disappointing season by appointing veteran administrator Graeme Allan as their new football department boss.
Neil Balme was moved into a new role as director of coaching, but he left Collingwood on Monday to head Richmond’s football department.
Buckley is contracted to the Magpies until the end of next season.
Also speaking at the members function, Collingwood president Eddie McGuire said they would consider a range of factors when next deciding Buckley’s future at the club.
“When we get to the stage this time next year and make decisions on whether Bucks stays or goes it won’t be just predicated on finals position or not,” McGuire said.
“It will be based on a holistic approach to it all, that’s the sensible way of doing business.”
Last month, Buckley said “there’s no way” he could remain coach if Collingwood failed to make next year’s finals.