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Buckley Doubts Future Of International Recruits

  • Thursday, May 07 2020 @ 08:27 am ACST
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The following article by Callum Twomey at the www.afl.com.au website looks at recent comments made by Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley, which cast doubt on the future of international recruits and the recruiting process for talent from alternative catchments. 

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley says clubs may not have the resources to look abroad for players 

DESPITE the Mason Cox success story, Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley has forecast international rookies to be a 'casualty' of the AFL's COVID-19 fallout.  

Cox has been one of the shining category B rookie stories in recent times, with the American ruckman/forward proving to be a key member of the Magpies' side. 

Collingwood has also two Irish players currently on its list – Mark Keane and Anton Tohill – having had a strong history in the region, including former star defender Marty Clarke.

 But Buckley said the expenditure for clubs to scout international options, and then develop them, could be lost as clubs cut costs.

"One of the casualties of this circumstances may well be the prohibitive costs and structures to find players outside of our mainstream [pathways]," Buckley said in a Facebook live chat with fans on Monday. 

"Diversity has been a really important part of the industry. I think the AFL has done really well to try and include as many people from as many walks of life as possible and we'll definitely continue to do that, with Next Generation Academies, and alternative pathways for young players looking to get up to the AFL system. 

"I think they will be streamlined in some shape or form, simply because of the costs. That is the economical impact of what we're going through. 

"So appreciate your international players, because it's probably going to be a lot harder for them to get into the top level and a lot harder for us to find them than it may have been in previous decades, because we spent a bit of money to do that and maybe the industry may not be able to afford it." 

Buckley said the club was working with the AFL and government to allow Keane and Tohill to re-enter Australia from Ireland given the strict border controls in place. 

The Pies only have one player interstate, first-year defender Trey Ruscoe, who is due back in Melbourne on Monday after returning home to Western Australia. 

To read the original story by Callum Twomey, go to: https://www.afl.com.au/news/432392/diversity-important-buckley-flags-drop-in-international-recruits