Collingwood officially unveil Buckley successor

3 weeks ago 12
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Collingwood have officially unveiled Craig McRae as the club's new coach.

Nathan Buckley's successor has committed to a three-year deal and become the Magpies' 16th VFL/AFL coach.

McRae's appointment was confirmed by Collingwood president Mark Korda, chief executive Mark Anderson and general manager of football Graham Wright in a Zoom media conference today.

McRae, who in his most recent position was a Hawthorn assistant coach under Alastair Clarkson, said he was ecstatic at landing the job.

"I'm pretty pumped. Let's face it – this is a significant part of my journey. And it's been a long one," McRae said.

"It was an extensive process, they didn't make it easy for me, it went for about six or eight weeks.

"But it allowed me to reflect on my journey. It's been a long one. This one's been 15 years coaching and the ability to be resilient, struggle and get up and fall over, get up again.

"I'm looking forward to taking this club forward."

Craig McRae during his time as an assistant coach at Hawthorn. (Getty)

Anderson gave an insight into McRae's value.

"He is relationship-orientated and his style is one where he works alongside players to bring out their very best," Anderson said.

"But importantly in this role he knows how to make the tough decisions that are required of a successful football program.

"Football acumen, insight and intellectual property is a critical part of this role."

McRae joined Hawthorn as an assistant coach at the start of the 2020 pre-season, following time with Richmond, Brisbane and Collingwood.

His move to Hawthorn came under then-footy boss Graham Wright, who left for Collingwood in January and led the Magpies' hunt for a new coach.

McRae retired from the game after Brisbane's 2004 grand final defeat to Port Adelaide.

Nathan Buckley during his time as Magpies coach. (Getty)

The South Australian served as a development coach at Richmond between 2007 and 2009, before spending 2010 in the same position at Brisbane and joining Collingwood as development manager for five years.

McRae became the coach of Richmond's VFL outfit ahead of the 2016 season and guided his charges to a premiership in 2019.

The 47-year-old in 2021 coached Hawthorn's forward line for the club's AFL side.

McRae has been tasked with leading Collingwood back to premiership contention, after the proud club plummeted to a 17th-placed finish in 2021.

That followed a grand final appearance in 2018, a preliminary final berth in 2019 and a semi-final showing in 2020.

St Kilda legend Robert Harvey had served as Collingwood's interim coach since the departure of Buckley in June.

Craig McRae during his stint as Richmond's VFL coach. (via Getty Images)

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