Sliding doors, what if we won in 2018, and kept Buckley and the same FD? Where would we be now?

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Brownlow Medallist
Jun 6, 2016
AFL Club
Other Teams
Pines Football Club
Another hypothetical.

Imagine if we kept Buckley, his panel, and the same FD if we won in 2018? Would we have gone onto a dynasty? Probably not, but the system was a good foundation for that, then it would've been all down to the development of the list and squad to suit that style. Not to mention the cap was obviously at tipping point, which effected list management and that disaster that ensued.

Look to now, could we turn our corrective measures to a dynasty? The list profile suggests not, but the system does, even more so than under the previous FD, so does the development.

Like from 2017 to 2018, 2021 to 2023 we've developed supposed no names to so called 'under rated' players (to paraphrase the media). Noble, McCreery and IQ come to mind. Back then it was guys like Langdon, Aish and Thomas who all had developed well into that season.

I guess my question is that is it better that Buckley is gone, and if we won the cup, would it have been a mistake by the club to keep Buckley, the panel and the FD?

Highly speculative, and of course I, like just about every other Pie sibling would probably give up now for that cup, but that could be perilous...............

................I've been a believer that our current window is very narrow, probably this year and that's it, however I could be sold the idea of our stellar development may carry us to a longer window, turning our soldiers from water to wine. Much like the filth over the railway line did from 2016.

If we win it this year, and that looks increasingly likely, then the club change up will definitely be worth it, and there may possibly be another flag in this group.

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All Australian
Aug 15, 2009
AFL Club
If Bucks won the GF in 2018 then Ed would probably have retired as president
No FD remains the same for more than 5 years
A number of assistant coaches would have been poached by other clubs

Kreme Pie

Team Captain
Apr 15, 2018
AFL Club
2018 still hurts. 90 seconds left. Adams chucked one on the boot and could’ve got the lead, but kicked a behind. Uuuuuggggghh.

Bucks would still be coach. Probably be an underwhelming, average team. As was typical most years under Buckley.


Brownlow Medallist
Sep 4, 2016
AFL Club
Obvious starting point is we don’t feel the need to top up. Therefore we don’t recruit Beams and compound our cap pressure.

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Feb 2, 2007
Surprise, Arizona USA
AFL Club
Other Teams
New York Rangers, New York Giants
If ifs and butts were candy and nuts ...

What a damn shame the way that game had to end. In the end, however, the Eagles made the plays which our boys didn't so hat's off to them, fair and square. Tough loss but no shame in the way they fell short; it was a spectacularly fought Grand Final.

But, had they won it?

Well, I'm surprised nobody has taken a guess at how season 2019 might have turned out. The Pies went into that year hell-bent on getting back to the show and winning it. But that soggy loss against the Giants, Ben Reid's miss in front of goal which still has me shaking my head, the huge disappointment which prompted Buckley, post-game, to proclaim the season was completely wasted. Had the Pies won it all in '18, would they have had that hunger to even get to the Preliminary Final in '19?

Season 2020 was a brutal year with the COVID and the fact that our boys had to travel most of the season to play. That huge Elimination Final win in Perth was their Grand Final and the tank went empty at that point and they never could get it back up after that. I don't see winning the flag in '18 having any difference in how '20 or even '21 playing out.

In the bigger picture, you'd probably be reading about Buckley raising his hand alongside Dimma this season to cry Uncle and call it a day if changes hadn't been made in '21. But given the bigger picture issues at the club which led to Eddie stepping down, regardless of whether or not they had won it all in '18, a reset was in order and, that it has been completed, we and the club are all the better for it.

Buckley came so close ... but it wasn't his destiny to raise the cup for his club. The gods clearly predisposed him of this terrible fate as both player and head coach.



Brownlow Medallist
Jul 19, 2019
AFL Club
We'd probably still play that boring game plan. I'm happy just to watch the way the we play now, it's a joy


Brownlow Medallist
Nov 9, 2012
AFL Club
Other Teams
76ers/Rockies/Colts/West Ham
Fly wouldn't be coach. Idk if Buckley still would be, but Fly wouldn't be here.
If Buckley was still coach, we'd 3-7 or 4-6. The last 2 seasons under Buckley were dreadful.
The chat would be about trading players for pick rather than who we can bring in to win flags.


Norm Smith Medallist
Sep 29, 2014
AFL Club
No, I don’t care about dwelling in a hypothetical past.
I’m more focussed on what is ahead of us in 2023.
It could be said, what if the ball had of popped up for Milne, obviously it didn’t and we win. Premiership banked, albeit the following week……!

Loving this year, just quietly.


Brownlow Medallist
Jul 25, 2008
The Linc
AFL Club
Other Teams
Oakland Raiders
As someone that wanted Buckley replaced in 2017 my thoughts have always wandered to what if for 2018-20 without him… It’s absolutely pointless, but wow some system and genuine empathy goes a long way.

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