Collingwood have stood by Nathan Buckley through thick and thin.
But much longer does the Magpies coach have in the top chair should he fail to deliver a flag?
Collingwood fell one kick short of lifting the trophy in 2018, then bowed out in the preliminary final last year, again by a single kick.
However, close is not enough in this game, and now, Buckley is fast approaching an unwanted record.
Former Hawthorn great Terry Wallace pointed out that if the Pies mentor fails to win a premiership in the next two years, he will be the longest-serving coaching to do so at the one club.
“The coach to ever have coached the most amount of games (at the one club) is the late Ted Whitten Sr, he coached 228 games for Footscray Football Club – only the one club – without winning a premiership,” Wallace told SEN Mornings.
“Second on that list is Neale Daniher on 223 at the Melbourne Football Club and third on the list is Wally Carter; coached North Melbourne, fourth on the list is Brad Scott … he finished on 211 (games), and fifth on the list is Nathan Buckley on 184 games.
“If Collingwood don’t win a flag in the next two years, Nathan Buckley will become the longest ever serving coach of the one club not to have delivered a premiership.”
Wallace questioned how long Collingwood would be comfortable having their senior coach hold such a feat.
He believes Buckley has four years to win a flag with the current playing group.
“So, my question off the back of that is: How long does this go for? How long does Nathan Buckley get to breakthrough?”
“For me, I think he’s got about four years with this group to get the job done, so that he gets the amount of time with this group that he has formulated to have a serious, serious crack at it.
“If they have a reasonable year this year I would sign him up for another two and give him that opportunity so it is a four-year period.”
Buckley is contracted until the end of 2021.