Collingwood has been actively searching to replace club icon and former senior coach Nathan Buckley since his abrupt departure several months ago, with numerous names being linked to the Pies top job. 

Buckley joined the Collingwood coaching staff in 2010 as part of the infamous succession plan that saw him transition into the head coach over a two-year span, as Mick Malthouse begrudgingly departed the club. 

Over this time the Magpies would go on to play in three Grand Finals, drawing in 2010 before winning the Premiership in the replay the week later, and losing to Geelong in 2011 despite finishing the year minor premiers. 

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 30: Magpies coach Nathan Buckley thanks the crowd after winning the round 14 AFL match between the Carlton Blues and the Collingwood Magpies at The Gabba on August 30, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Jono Searle/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

The Pies saw some success in the immediate years in which Buckley became senior coach, finishing 2012 with a preliminary final loss to Sydney and 2013 with an elimination final exit to Port Adelaide.

The proceeding years saw a host of disappointing campaigns until Collingwood surged to the 2018 Grand Final, where they were defeated by West Coast. In 2019 the Pies were four points away from making consecutive Grand Final appearances, whereas in 2020 they faltered in the semi-finals to Geelong after an inspiring win over the Eagles the week prior. 

As of Round 13, 2021 Collingwood sat in 16th and had only won four games, a monumental collapse that quickly saw a premiership list derailed for the second time during Buckley’s near 11-year tenure. 

With all that Bucks' brought to Collingwood over his years of service, it is understandable that the club is tediously seeking out candidates that can live up to his recent success and the Pies storied history. 

Without further a due, heres a look at who Collingwood is considering as their coach of the future and what they bring to the table. 

Adam Kingsley

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 30: Adam Kingsley, Midfield/Stoppages Coach of the Tigers addresses his players during the 2021 AFL Round 07 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Western Bulldogs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on April 30, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

After spending four seasons coaching at Port Adelaide, Kingsley moved to the Saints where he worked his way up from the forwards coach under Ross Lyon to being Alan Richardson’s second in charge. His crowning achievement from his time with the St Kilda was when he won the AFL Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the year award in 2015.

Since 2019, he has served as Richmond’s midfield/stoppage coach, in which he has been a crucial contributor to the club's repeat premierships. Kingsley’s recent success, coupled with his continued improvement under former teammate Damien Hardwick, has made him an attractive option for Collingwood. 

In fact, Kingsley has been reported to have already had two interviews with the Pies with both going "really well", according to Tom Browne. 

Michael Voss

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 13: Michael Voss midfield manager of the Power looks on during the round 21 AFL match between Port Adelaide Power and the Collingwood Magpies at Adelaide Oval on August 13, 2017 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

Voss began his coaching career by taking over his former side, the Brisbane Lions, in 2009. 

He mustered one finals appearance in five years, in which Brisbane remained in obscurity for the remainder of his tenure after his inaugural season. 

In 2015 Voss took the role of Port Adelaide’s midfield coach before transitioning to senior assistant coach in 2019. During his time with the Power, Voss has been to the finals twice, including a preliminary final last season, with Port Adelaide currently in third with an imminent finals birth on the horizon. 

Collingwood has also conducted two interviews with Voss in, which "the second one didn't go that well", as reported by Browne. 

Don Pyke

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 10: Don Pyke, coach of the Crows takes questions at the post game press conference during the 2018 AFL round 12 match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Adelaide Crows at Optus Stadium on June 10, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Pyke served as the strategy coach for West Coast from 2013-15 where he introduced the infamous ‘web’ defence, which was a crucial component to the Eagles' success in 2015 where they made the Grand Final. 

In 2016, Pyke took over Adelaide and immediately took them to the finals, while the following year he coached the Crows to the minor premiership and a Grand Final appearance.

However, as quickly as he was able to ascend atop of the AFL with the Crows, he was in charge as the club's unity crumbled during the infamous 2018 pre-season camp. The incident resulted in an internal implosion that left players unwilling to trust one-another and seek their exit from the club.

While this was unfortunate, Pyke has again been able to highlight how quickly he can turn around a club as his strategic approach has catapulted the rebuilding Swans into a legit premiership threat since joining the club this season. 

Pyke has been linked to the Pies job but appears loyal to the Swans as he awaits to see what Brad Scott’s future entails. 

 Brad Scott

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 12: Brad Scott, coach of the Kangaroos looks on during a North Melbourne Kangaroos Training Session on July 12, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

During 10 years as coach of North Melbourne, Scott was able to make two preliminary finals appearances with cap-strapped mediocre teams, per a Kangaroos staff member. This speaks volumes to his coaching acumen as he was able to get the best out of his players despite beginning his coaching career at 33.

Since taking over as head of AFL Victoria, Scott has commented how the role has expanded his football knowledge beyond his experiences as an AFL senior coach. This evolving knowledge is what also makes Scott an attractive option for the Head of AFL Football Operations. 

While it’s been speculated the Scott is a frontrunner for the job, he has remained largely silent on the matter. Yet, when prompted by Sam Edmund last week, Scott rattled off the professional answer, albeit with the cheekiest of grins. 

Ross Lyon

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 10: Ross Lyon, coach of the Dockers addresses the team at quarter time during the AFL 2017 JLT Community Series match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Carlton Blues at Domain Stadium on March 10, 2017 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Lyon has coached in four Grand Finals between his time with St Kilda and Fremantle, holding a record of 0-1-3. In addition to this he has also taken his side's to the preliminary final five times. 

His last four seasons at Fremantle emphasise how his ultra defensive style doesn't always translate to success, especially when trying to rebuild with young players who also need to develop transitioning the footy when on the attack. 

Lyon has been on the record saying the following in relation the Pies vacancy:

“The Collingwood Football Club, if they reached (out), you would speak to them, but you need to be all-in. It’s an all-in job,” as per Triple M. 

Given his history it is possible that Lyon can guide the Pies to success, although evidence also suggests that he may struggle to do so given that Collingwood is already a solid defensive side with their glaring issue being forward movement, his coaching weakness.

Alastair Clarkson

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 04: Alastair Clarkson the coach and Luke Hodge the captain of the Hawks pose with the 2013, 2014 and 2015 premiership trophies during the Hawthorn Hawks AFL Grand Final fan day at Glenferrie Oval on October 4, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

A four-time premiership coach and living legend.

The man can flat out coach and seems to get the best out of whatever players he has, in-spite of a several-year period which saw premiership stars gradually depart. Hawthorn’s future appears promising given the performances their youngsters have been able to string under the maestro on the back-end of this season. 

While Clarkson remains professional in the face of the media and reports around his future are mixed, Collingwood would be silly to not continue their pursuit of him until he otherwise commits elsewhere. 

Robert Harvey

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 10: Justin Longmuir and Robert Harvey the assistant coaches of the Magpies look on during the round 21 AFL match between the Melbourne Demons and the Collingwood Magpies at Melbourne Cricket Ground on August 10, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Harvey is a long-serving assistant that is capable of performing a plethora of coaching roles. Over the years he has served as the development, midfield, backline, transition and senior assistant across his time at Carlton, St Kilda and Collingwood. 

Harvey received the AFL Coaches Association's Assistant Coach of the Year award in 2013, and was also a part of the Collingwood coaching box that made the 2018 Grand Final. 

Collingwood have a 2-6 record under Harvey as he acts as the club's interim coach. While Fox Sports report that there is no real chance of him replacing Buckley, Harvey has taken a young team under his wing during the mid-point of the season and has still implemented his own style of daring ball movement, despite the Pies' shortcomings. 

Mark Williams 

'Choco' guided Port Adelaide to seven finals appearances in 12 seasons as the Power’s head coach, appearing in two Grand Finals and winning one, in addition to three consecutive minor premierships between 2002-2004. 

Williams served as the development coach at Richmond from 2013-16, departing the year prior to their dynasty commencing. Hence successfully developing the young talent around him to an elite standard.

Since joining the Demons late last year, Williams has continued to successfully develop the assortment of young guns at Melbourne, as they currently sit in second place. 

While those in the media are certain that Choco will be approached by Collingwood, it remains unclear if this will be in regard to the senior coaching role or as an assistant to Kingsley.


There’s More…

It is believed that the likes of Adem Yze, Craig McCrae, Blake Caracella and Justin Leppitsch have also been considered for the Collingwood vacancy. The degree to which the mentioned candidates are linked vary and haven't been as heavily reported on as some of the previously mentioned coaches...But watch this space.

How Long Now?

Collingwood had aimed to make their big announcement during the pre-finals bye but it appears that this will now be delayed until some time in September.

This is due to border closure’s impacting on the club's ability to conduct face-to-face interviews, as Collingwood prefer intimate encounters over online chats. The club maintains that it wants to conduct the process thoroughly and doesn't want to hurry because an initial deadline had been proposed. 

Who do you think will become the next coach of Collingwood? Sound off in the comments below!