Collingwood skipper Scott Pendlebury says is feeling “numb” after Magpies legend Nathan Buckley stood down as coach on Wednesday.
It is the first time in Pendlebury’s illustrious 328-game career that he has seen a senior coach depart mid-season and he admitted it had hit him hard.
“It’s a bit of a shock,” Pendlebury told Fox Sports News outside the Holden Centre.
“You come in to train today and then it happens, so it’s definitely a shock.
“It’s the first time in my career that I’ve ever been through something like this before, so I feel almost a little bit numb.”
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Pendlebury said word of Buckley’s departure filtered out before the coach could address the leaders or the playing group.
“We planned to have a chat with the leaders and then the timeline sped up, so it became the full group,” the Magpies captain said.
“Then it came out and he just spoke about how he thought it was the best thing for the club.
“That no person was bigger than the club and he thought it was the right time for him to step away.
“He just spoke about his gratitude for the place; he spent half his life here.
“And just how excited he is for the future and excited for the opportunity he’s had as a player, as assistant coach, as coach and everything he’s contributed to our club.”
The long-time Collingwood midfielder said there would be a grieving period for Buckley amongst the players.
“I think everyone will handle it differently,” he said.
“We come in tomorrow and I guess over the next 24 to 48 hours everyone will be checking in with each other and just seeing how everyone sits with it.”
Pendlebury endorsed Collingwood assistant Robert Harvey as caretaker coach for the remainder of the season, which will follow Buckley’s last game in charge on the Queen’s Birthday.
“Obviously Harves has been Bucks’ right-hand man so I don’t think that comes as a surprise,” he said.
SCROLL DOWN TO SEE REACTIONS FROM THE FOOTY WORLD
Meanwhile Dane Swan has lauded former teammate and coach Nathan Buckley as the biggest name in the history of Collingwood.
The Brownlow medallist said the outgoing coach deserved a flag “more than anyone” at the Magpies.
While Swan conceded he didn’t always see eye-to-eye with Buckley, who he played with for six seasons and played under for a further six years while Buckley was at the helm, he commended the Collingwood great for always having the club’s best interests at heart.
“Biggest name in the history of the club and the one thing he always did was put the best interests of The club first (whether we agreed or not),” Swan tweeted.
“Deserved a flag more than anyone at the pies and should be celebrated on the way out. “Hopefully life can be a tad normal for him again.”
Another former Magpie, Dale Thomas, was far from complimentary.
In a now deleted tweet, Thomas said: “@collingwoodfc requesting all members and fans to put your Fig Jam out on your porch tonight as a sign of respect and thanks to bucks”.
The tweet was swiftly criticised by Collingwood supporters before being deleted.
Biggest name in the history of the club and the one thing he always did was put the best interests of The club first (whether we agreed or not). Deserved a flag more than anyone at the pies and should be celebrated on the way out. Hopefully life can be a tad normal for him again
— Dane Swan (@swandane) June 9, 2021
Buckley to coach the Blues 😉 #2022 flag #2024 💪👍
— Brendan Fevola (@BrendanFevola25) June 9, 2021
Congratulations to Bucks. His contribution to @CollingwoodFC as both a player and coach is second to none. The way he has represented himself and club over the journey at times in trying circumstances is to be admired. All class.
— Josh Fraser (@jfraser17) June 9, 2021
Alastair Clarkson talks about the “key pillars” at clubs — president, CEO, coach, captain, football boss etc. Four key pillars at Collingwood have now changed: Geoff Walsh, Eddie McGuire, Ned Guy and Nathan Buckley. The club’s leadership will almost be unrecognisable next week.
— Sam Landsberger 🗯 (@SamLandsberger) June 9, 2021
No matter what you think about Collingwood or Nathan Buckley, the fact this announcement is happening over Zoom is a bit of a downer. Nothing they can do obviously but a sad way to finish up. https://t.co/9GpR0dnoJW
— Lauren Wood (@LaurenHeraldSun) June 9, 2021
Thanks Bucks 🖤
After almost 10 seasons and 217 matches in charge, Nathan Buckley will coach the team for the last time next Monday when Collingwood meets Melbourne at the SCG.
— Collingwood FC (@CollingwoodFC) June 9, 2021
Collingwood needed a fresh start. But as Bucks showed with his class in that press conference and from his coaching in 2018-20 he will be massively in demand at some stage as a coach again. The Buckley brand is undiminished https://t.co/6liTwTN3X8
— Jon Ralph (@RalphyHeraldSun) June 9, 2021
Gerard on reports Nathan Buckley will resign: “I feel quite emotional.
“For what he’s achieved within the game, what he did on the field, what he’s done coaching for a decade, the fact that pretty well everyone gave up on him and couldn’t see what he would become as a coach…”
— Whateley (@WhateleySEN) June 9, 2021
Originally published as Pendles: Buckley shock has hit players hard