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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

The  Magpies have lured Neil Balme back to the club as their new Director of Football to replace Rodney Eade, now coaching Gold Coast. Balme has spent the past eight years as General Manager at Geelong.  He previously worked at Collingwood as General Manager 2002-2006 before crossing to the Cats.

Balme brings with him a wealth of experience, having been involved in the game for over 40 years as a player, coach and administrator. In his time with Collingwood and Geelong, both clubs were in Grand Finals. His time with the Cats was during one of the most successful eras in Geelong's history, with the Cats winning three premierships while Balme was there.

Collingwood CEO Gary Pert said “There is no-one more qualified, capable and suitable for this role ... Neil is an outstanding football person. There isn’t anyone in the industry who would challenge his achievements or his reputation."

Balme said that despite his strong attachment to Geelong the opportunity to return to Collingwood represented both an irresistible professional challenge and an unexpected chance to work with senior coach Nathan Buckley. “I’ve known ‘Bucks’ for a long time and he is someone I have the highest personal and professional regard for ... We share a lot of common ground in terms of our thinking on the game, the list is in a pretty healthy position and to take on the challenge of building something substantial and, hopefully, successful with him is of real appeal.” 

Source: Stephen Rielly, Collingwood Media Release

Article last changed on Friday, November 14, 2014 - 7:37 PM EST

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