Footy legend Nathan Buckley reveals new career move

Nathan Buckley has confirmed his next job, which will make the 2022 AFL season very different from his tumultuous 2021.

Nathan Buckley has announced he has signed on to be a star commentator for Fox Footy in 2022.

The former Magpies coach was the hottest property in footy media after his decision to resign from Collingwood earlier this year — and the 49-year-old has now confirmed his move to the Fox Sports network.

The Herald Sun first reported Fox Footy’s announcement after Buckley had already featured in a promotional photo shoot to announce his decision.

Buckley says the deal means he will not be involved in coaching in 2022, but his plans beyond next year remain unknown.

“I determined really early that I would take some time to consider my next step in footy so returning to clubland in 2022 was off the table really quickly after leaving Collingwood,” Buckley said.

“The last few years have been tough on every single person and people who work in footy have been no different. Longer hours, less pay, living away from home, losing colleagues, even more scrutiny than normal.

“The commitment required at club level is higher than at any time I can remember. You are in or out, there is no in-between.”

Buckley said he has enjoyed being away the spot light since stepping down in June.

It ends a tumultuous 2021 for the former Brownlow medallist.

Buckley endured long periods of isolation as part of the AFL’s biosecurity protocols. The Magpies continued their slide down the ladder this season, prompting his decision to step down. He also had to help hold the club together following the release of the club’s Do Better report, which found systemic racism within the football club. He also coached the club during Eddie Maguire’s resignation as club president and the boardroom power struggle that followed his departure.

Buckley also split from wife Tania in December, 2020, after 18 years of marriage and has endured public scrutiny surrounding his reported new relationship with partner Alex Pike.

His 2022 is looking like very different.

“I’ve actually been really settled and comfortable flying under the radar,” Buckley said.

“I was very conscious that the club needed its space beyond my departure and I thought Robert Harvey and the leaders did a great job keeping the program together for the back half of the season.

“Extra time with my boys (Jett and Ayce) has been a definite advantage as well.”

Buckley joins Fox Footy having already had a relationship with the network that previously included weekly appearances on Fox Footy’s AFL 360.

His performances on the show made him one of the most popular figures in the footy media industry.

Executive Director of Fox Sports Steve Crawley lauded the addition of Buckley, who is one of the biggest names in the game.

“You bet we’re excited,” he said.

“Nathan Buckley was clearly the best AFL talent out there and now he has a home at Fox Footy. His expert commentary and sheer presence will be a treat for our audience.

“We can’t wait to see him alongside the likes of Dunstall, Brown, Lyon and Riewoldt.”

The announcement confirmed Buckley will feature in game-day match broadcasts and weekly analysis programs.

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