Collingwood’s attempt to replicate Richmond’s success by mimicking the Tigers’ every move of the past 12 months is continuing, with reports Nathan Buckley has relaxed his attitude and handed more control to his assistant coaches.
The Magpies appear to be hoping lightning will strike twice after finishing the season in 13th position, the same spot from where the Tigers started their premiership journey.
An extensive internal review has swept through the Holden Centre, similar to what went on at Punt Road one year ago, resulting in a clean out of assistant coaches while the senior coach has been shown strong support.
Now Buckley seems to be modeling his personal approach on Richmond counterpart Damien Hardwick.
“I can feel, just walking in over the last week, (Buckley) is much more relaxed and not as full on and overbearing as he has been in that coaching role over the past few years,” midfielder Tom Phillips told SEN Breakfast on Thursday.
“He has definitely taken a bit of a step back and has really started trusting and relying on the great assistant coaches we have coming in.”
Hardwick has talked often of taking a step back after trying to be in control all the time, delegating to his assistants and bringing fun back into Tigerland.
“The reality was, I was the biggest problem of all,” Hardwick said when he reflected on Richmond’s finish to 2016.
“That was the hardest self-reflection to come up with but it was certainly the truest one.”
It seems Buckley has listened closely and is prepared to change his approach if he is to get through what is undoubtedly a last chance at Collingwood.
“That delegation, even if you ask Bucks himself, he is starting to realise that and is really enjoying that role of stepping back and overlooking things,” Phillips said.
“It is pretty positive at the moment. The whole reshaping and the new system with that delegation is going to pay dividends.”
This time there’s something different about hearing the same things repeated in the pre-season.