Brownlow medallist Shane Crawford says Collingwood would be “crazy” not to talk to his former Hawthorn teammate Sam Mitchell about the coaching role left vacant after Nathan Buckley’s shock departure.
Crawford’s call comes as former St Kilda and Fremantle coach Ross Lyon said he’d be “happy to talk” to the Pies if they came calling.
Mitchell is seen as the heir apparent to Hawks mentor Alastair Clarkson, having returned to the club in a coaching capacity after a short stint as an assistant at West Coast, where he finished his stellar playing career.
A four-time premiership player and Brownlow medallist himself, Mitchell is already highly regarded as a coach and is now in control of his own team, coaching Hawthorn’s VFL team, Box Hill.
Crawford, who played in the 2008 premiership team with Mitchell, said his former teammate was already a “really good” coach.
“I think (Collingwood) would be crazy not sitting down and interviewing someone like Sam Mitchell,” Crawford told the Inside 50 podcast.
“I push him a lot but I push him for a reason because he is bloody good and I think he’s going to be a career coach.
“It’s a great opportunity for Collingwood to go and interview everyone under the sun … narrow it down to 10, then work out who is the best fit going forward.”
Robert Harvey will coach the Magpies for the rest of the season and could be in the running to replace Buckley.
Other names mentioned include Clarkson, who is unlikely to leave Hawthorn, former Brisbane coach Michael Voss and Lyon, who said he would take Collingwood’s call.
“They are one of the biggest clubs in the land, (with an) incredible tradition … if someone rang me from Collingwood and said ‘Can we talk?’ of course I would sit down and have a discussion,” Lyon said on Footy Classified.
“But I can’t give you a flippant answer here.
“For me it’s such a big position. Nathan Buckley is a revered figure, and we saw him handle it and he still got chewed up and spat out.
“So, it’s not a simple flippant ‘Yeah, I’m interested’ because they are big jobs and they need someone that is unconditional committed.”
Lyon said Clarkson would be the raging favourite for the Collingwood job if he was to become available.
“If Alastair Clarkson is available, there is no competition,” Lyon said
“Just pull out whatever he needs, have the conversation and get him signed.”
Lyon coached St Kilda and Fremantle to grand finals but has been in the media since parting ways with the Dockers in 2019.