Former Adelaide coach Don Pyke has told Collingwood he does not want to apply for the vacant senior coaching position.
Pyke told the club that for family reasons he had decided not to pursue the job at the Magpies and was happy to remain at the Sydney Swans in an assistant coaching role.
Pyke had waited until the end of the Swans’ home-and-away season before making a final decision on his plans beyond this year, but sources said he told Collingwood he did not want to return to senior coaching.
Pyke, who took Adelaide to a grand final, quit the Crows and among other things cited the inordinate stress levels on senior coaches.
Collingwood is intending to speak with former Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson’s management this week about the four-time premiership coach’s plans.
Clarkson has indicated his preference is to take a year off, with the payout he received from Hawthorn for all of next year. But he also said many of the things he wanted to do next year – travel and study – would presently be unavailable to him, or difficult to pursue because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
If Clarkson decides not to coach next year and therefore not speak with the Magpies about the position, it is likely that Collingwood would turn to a first-time senior coach from the ranks of senior assistant coaches.
Craig Macrae, the former three-time premiership player with the Brisbane Lions, who has worked at Collingwood, Richmond and Hawthorn as a development coach, an assistant coach, and who has coached his own VFL team to premiership success, has strongly impressed the Magpies’ coaching panel.