Buckley signs AFL coaching extension

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley has signed a contract extension, most likely until at least the end of the 2017 AFL season.

Magpies president Eddie McGuire confirmed at Tuesday night’s season launch that they had agreed to terms.

Buckley was due to come out of contract at the end of this season.

There had been speculation for several weeks that Buckley was going to sign a new deal.

McGuire joked on Tuesday night that Buckley was not going to be sacked.

He also said in a speech at the launch that Buckley embodied the Collingwood spirit.

“We asked Nathan to rebuild our club in the past few years and rebuild it he has,” the AFL website reported McGuire as saying.

Last week, Brisbane also announced at their season launch that coach Justin Leppitsch had signed a one-year extension that would take him through to the end of next season.

And Richmond are on the verge of sealing a new two-year deal for Damien Hardwick.

It means all the senior coaches on contracts have agreements that go beyond 2016.

The only exception is new Carlton coach Brendon Bolton, who is on the club’s staff rather than having a contract.

Buckley took over as senior coach from Mick Malthouse at the end of the 2011 season, thanks to the deal that McGuire brokered.

Malthouse soon fell out with the Magpies and left.

Under Buckley, Collingwood have missed the past two finals series.

But they have recruited solidly and there are big expectations for a return to the top eight this season.

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