Nathan Buckley: Life and Career of the Australian Rules Football Legend

Nathan Buckley

Nathan Buckley is an Australian Rules Football legend who currently coaches Australian Rules Football. Before becoming a coach, he also worked as a commentator. An absolute icon of the sport, he is considered by many Aussie Rules Football analysts as one of the greatest players of all time. Nathan Buckley won the Rising Star Award in 1993 and built on that to become one of the greatest players of all time. He captained Collingwood between 1999 and 2007, winning the Norm Smith Medal for best player afield in the 2002 Grand Final despite playing in the losing team, only the third player in history to do so, the Brownlow Medal in 2003, winning Collingwood’s Best and Fairest award, the Copeland Trophy, six time and named in the Collingwood Team of the Century. Nathan Buckley went on to captain the Australian International Rules Football Team versus Ireland. Because of his stellar performance, he made the All-Australian Team on seven different occasions. In 2004, Buckley was inducted into the Collingwood Hall of Fame. After the 2007 AFL season ended, Nathan Buckley announced his retirement from the sport and immediately took up a commentator’s position for the Seven Network. Three years later, the Collingwood Football Club signed Buckley as an assistant coach for seasons 2010 and 2011 and as senior coach in 2012 until at least the end of the 2017 playing season. Nathan Buckley was extended for two more years in September 2017 and is currently with the team. Let’s find out more about this legend

Nathan Buckley: All You Need to Know 

When was Nathan Buckley born?

Nathan Buckley was brought into the world in rural Adelaide, South Australia on 26 July 1972. His family went around Australia as often as possible, and by the age of 12, Buckley had been to all significant states on the Australian territory. He grew up supporting Melbourne Football Club. However, Buckley spent most of his formative football years (matured around 10–17) in the Northern Territory, and subsequently has sporadically been viewed as a Territorian. He likewise played cricket for the “PINTS” social club, close to Michael Tunn from Triple J. He likewise played at the Ainslie Football Club in the Canberra-based ACTAFL for a season. In State of Origin he was considered of North Territory beginning and was chosen for a joined Queensland/Northern Territory group and The Allies group, a combination of players from Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania. 

Nathan Buckley: Playing Career

Port Adelaide (SANFL) 

Buckley’s footballing gifts were seen from the beginning. He joined South Australian National Football League (SANFL) club Port Adelaide where, in 1992, he won the Magarey Medal (the SANFL’s group best and most attractive), and the Jack Oatey Medal (best on ground in the SANFL Grand Final). 

Brisbane Bears 

In the 1991 AFL Draft, the middling Australian Football League (AFL) club Brisbane Bears drafted him through its Northern Territory state zone. Buckley tested the AFL draft framework and started the discussion by opposing a transition to Brisbane. His fantasies were to play in Melbourne because of its way of life in the game. He consequently felt the Bears were a bothersome vocation alternative. In any case, AFL draft rules kept him from playing with another AFL club and he thus stayed in the SANFL. 

Buckley endorsed with the Bears for the 1993 AFL season as a feature of an arrangement among Buckley and the Bears that permitted him to go to his preferred club the accompanying season. Brisbane trusted his time in Queensland would be long enough to adjust his perspective. Buckley promptly showed his insane skills, playing 20 games, kicking 21 goals and dazzling with his overall play. He was the debut victor of the Norwich Rising Star Award and finished runners-up in the Bears’ best and fairest honor. 


During his first season, Buckley’s plan with the Bears became common information. Toward the finish of the contract, he pulled in solid interest from all Melbourne-based clubs, mainly Collingwood, Geelong and North Melbourne. Notwithstanding, it was Collingwood that effectively orchestrated an economic alliance worthy for all gatherings. Obscure to other AFL clubs and to the actual AFL, Collingwood and Brisbane had effectively consented to make the exchange happen. Collingwood chose ten players on its rundown who were “unapproachable”, and the Bears could take any two players outside this rundown, just as the Collingwood Magpies’ first round draft pick, in return for Buckley. The move saw Buckley move to Collingwood in return for Craig Starcevich, Troy Lehmann and the Magpies’ first-round draft pick. 

Buckley was unyielding that the move was the correct professional course, with the conviction he had more possibility of winning a title with Collingwood. Unexpectedly, Brisbane would proceed to win three premierships during Buckley’s days to Collingwood’s none, with Brisbane in any event, beating Collingwood in two successive AFL Grand Finals in 2002 and 2003. In his first season with Collingwood, the Magpies were disposed of by the West Coast Eagles by two in Perth. 

From here, Buckley would be a reliable on field performer for Collingwood. Just as winning a Brownlow Medal in 2003, he competed in the best three twice before the turn of the century. He was likewise named Collingwood’s Best and Fairest multiple times in 10 years (counting one tied), as well as six successive years in the All-Australian Team from 1996 to 2002. 

In 1999, Buckley endured a messed up jaw playing against Carlton in Round 2. He returned in Round 8 to help Collingwood to their first victory of the period and their first in quite a while. Collingwood completed the season in the last spot (only the second time in the club’s history). Buckley additionally contended in his last game at Collingwood’s long-lasting home ground Victoria Park against one of their arch rivals, the Brisbane Lions. 

As Collingwood captain

In 1999, mentor Tony Shaw made Buckley the Collingwood skipper, supplanting the still-dynamic Gavin Brown who was to tutor Buckley in the job until retirement. All through the last part of the 1990s/mid 2000s Collingwood had a few significant changes in faculty. Eddie McGuire became the leader of the club in 1998 and Mick Malthouse was selected as a mentor in 2000. Collingwood ended up fifteenth in 2000 and ninth in 2001, with Buckley featuring in the two seasons. In Round 2, 2001, Buckley set a new record by accumulating 46 disposals, the highest since quarters were abbreviated to twenty minutes in 1994 AFL season, this stayed the record until Round 10, 2009, when Dane Swan smashed it with 48 disposals. 

In 2002, Collingwood made the AFL Grand Final interestingly during Buckley’s residency at the club. In one of the extraordinary individual fabulous last exhibitions, Buckley won the Norm Smith Medal for best on ground, the first run through since 1989 that a player from a losing side had won the honor. The way that Collingwood was so close in the end had to do with his predominance against the vaunted Brisbane midfield, including commander Michael Voss. In 2003, Buckley got his most noteworthy individual honor, the Brownlow Medal with individual South Australian-conceived players Mark Ricciuto (Adelaide) and Adam Goodes (Sydney). The next Saturday, Buckley played in his second losing Grand Final, with Collingwood losing to the Brisbane Lions. Buckley was his group’s driving ball victor, with 24 disposals. After maybe the best period of his professional career in 2003, the Magpie captain persevered through 2004 and 2005. He began the season strong with strong performances in the initial three rounds, yet missed seven of the following eight matches with hamstring issues. At the point when he returned, he seemed to play under coercion, investing more energy across half-forward or half-back. Buckley was respected with life enrollment of the Collingwood Football Club in 2004. 

During the 2006 season, Buckley was granted AFL Life Membership subsequent to playing his 300th authority match since his presentation in 1992, comprising 267 premiership games, 24 preseason games, four state of origin games and four international rules games. 

Nathan Buckley rested twice during the season, once for the match against West Coast at Subiaco in Round 7, and again in the Round 21 conflict against Carlton. Toward the finish of the 2006 season, Buckley showed the potential for success of him having down as captain of the club, saying that James Clement may be a probable decision for the position. Clement later said he didn’t wish to become captain. Collingwood President Eddie McGuire made light of any gossipy tidbits about Buckley standing aside.

Following genuine hamstring issues, Buckley played his first round of 2007 playing for the Williamstown Seagulls in the VFL on 18 August 2007. He was adjudged as the best on ground, gathering 29 possessions and kicking four goals. 

He got back to the Collingwood side the next week and played in the club’s two leftover home-and-away games and each of the three finals, including its 18-point semi-last win against West Coast in extra time, and its five-point misfortune against Geelong in the preliminary final where he was perched on the seat in dissatisfaction when the last alarm sounded. After three weeks, on 5 October 2007, Nathan Buckley announced his retirement from Australian Rules Football. 

Nathan Buckley: Coaching Career

Following quite a while of hypotheses, Buckley inked a 5-year contract with the Collingwood Football Club. He was the associate mentor for the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Nathan Buckley was signed as the head coach in 2012, having taken over from Mick Malthouse, and signed a three year contract.

Collingwood started the 2012 season shakily, losing to Hawthorn in round 1 and being whipped via Carlton in Round 3. Notwithstanding, they recuperated to win their next ten matches and finish the home-and-away season in fourth spot with a record of 16–6. They were crushed by Hawthorn in the Qualifying Final prior to bobbing back to overcome West Coast in the semi final. However, the team went on to lose to Sydney in the Preliminary Final at ANZ Stadium to end the 2012 season. 

2013 began lukewarm for the Magpies, drooping to a 5–4 record after 9 games. They couldn’t exactly discover the consistency of past seasons and completed the year in the 6th spot with a 14–8 record. They played Port Adelaide in their Elimination Final at the MCG and drooped to an embarrassing 24-point defeat, which made Buckley raise doubt about the club’s culture.

Buckley’s contract was stretched out until the finish of 2016 by Collingwood toward the beginning of March 2014; nonetheless, Collingwood created a terrible showing in round 1 and lost to 2013 finalists Fremantle by 70. They wound up missing the finals to finish twelfth mostly because of a physical issue emergency. Collingwood began the 2015 season at 3–1 as of Round 4 and a gutsy win against Essendon on Anzac Day in the 100th centennial celebrations of the Gallipoli landing. 

Towards the finish of Collingwood’s 2017 season on August 28th 2017, Buckley was handed a two-year contract extension by the club after it embraced an audit of the whole football club. In the 2018 season, notwithstanding another injury emergency, Buckley actually figured out how to mentor Collingwood to their first Grand Final since 2011. Collingwood lost that Grand Final against the West Coast Eagles by 5. After a helpless beginning to the 2021 AFL season, calls started to ascend for Buckley to be sacked. The renunciation of McGuire from his situation as club president the earlier year was seen as conceivably putting Buckley’s situation in harm’s way, since he had been one of Buckley’s staunchest supporters.

Nathan Buckley: Personal Life

Buckley was a part of the AFL “Laws of the Game” or Rules Committee until he walked out of the organisation somewhat surprisingly.

Who is Nathan Buckley married to?

On 31 December 2002, Buckley wedded Tania Minnici. On 4 December 2020, Buckley and spouse Tania mutually declared they had walked away from each other following 18 years of marriage. 

Who are Nathan Buckley’s children?

Buckley and Minnici have two children; Jett Charles, who was brought into the world on 22 December 2006 and Ayce Dominic, who was brought into the world on 21 September 2008. 

Where does Nathan Buckley live?

Nathan Buckley resides in Toorak, Melbourne. 

Is Nathan Buckley into harness racing?

Buckley has likewise moved into harness racing and is the proprietor of the Group One champ Hurricane Jett, a racer named after his oldest child and prepared by profoundly effective coach and Collingwood ally Jayne Davies. 

What is the name of Nathan Buckley’s autobiography?

The Penguin Group Australia published and distributed Nathan Buckley’s autobiography, All I Can Be on 24 September 2008.

Nathan Buckley: Media Appearances

Nathan Buckley has frequently appeared on The Footy Show as an analyst. He also featured prominently in an advertising campaign by wireless broadband provider Unwired. After he retired from Australian Rules Football, Nathan Buckley also served as a commentator for the Seven Network and radio station 3AW for the 2008-09 seasons. Nathan Buckley is also a huge fan of Formula 1 and made an appearance as a celebrity racer during the 2008 Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park, Melbourne. He drove well and finished second in the race.

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