Just finished reading All I Can Be by former Collingwood champion Nathan Buckley. As far as footy autobiographies go it is pretty substantial, a bit over 400 pages. I found it a pretty absorbing read most of the time. He documents his whole career as you would expect in a book of this length but there is plenty of reflection and analysis of the craft, discipline, techniques and psychology involved in succeeding in football at the elite level. Buckley clearly indicates you have to be exceptionally tough mentally and physically to survive.
Cynics might suggest it formed part of a job application for his current assistant coach and head coach in waiting position at Collingwood. There could be some truth in that but who could blame a player with serious coaching aspirations for that. Overall I felt it was a pretty honest book. The relationship between Buckley and his father was a fascinating one to learn about. It doesn’t contain the commonly used lists of greatest players, opponents, my greatest team sections etc. These segments are going out of style in footy biographies which is perhaps a good thing. However he does reveal that Cameron Ling was probably the hardest opponent he faced, Darren Jarman he rated as the best kick – he meant general field kicking, and Gary Ablett Senior as the best player he had seen.
All I Can Be by Nathan Buckley, with Ben Collins