Former Collingwood and current Melbourne CEO Gary Pert said he was hoping Nathan Buckley would get to hold up the premiership cup on Grand Final day.
Pert was removed as Pies CEO as part of the club’s review at the end of 2017 and has since taken over at the Demons.
Despite all of that, he wanted Buckley to succeed above anything else.
“It got to the point where I’d accepted the Melbourne role, the reality is you go from not supporting Melbourne to 100 per cent supporting it, it’s the only way you can do it as a CEO,” he said on SEN’s Whateley.
“All of a sudden I’m 100 per cent Melbourne and watching all their games with a whole different view, so I wasn’t following Collingwood.
“I must admit though, when it got to the Grand Final, I did love the thought of seeing Buckley holding up the cup.
“At certain stages of the game I could see that and I could picture it and being a mate of his and knowing what he’s been through in recent times, I was so excited, more to see that than anything else.
“I couldn’t help thinking back to the periods of time around of bringing Buckley in and that was all about creating the next premiership team.”
Pert said Buckley was always going to become an elite coach in time.
“From day one, I’ve always said that Buckley as a leader of men is exceptional,” he said.
“I think he needed to come into the role and it was a difficult scenario he came into, for him to be able to deal with that and then grow as a leader in a highly scrutinised role.
“I must admit for his point of view I was excited to see that.”