COLLINGWOOD coach Nathan Buckley has revealed there "were a few things mixed up" with the recruitment of Chris Mayne on a lucrative four-year deal from Fremantle.

The 28-year-old has struggled for form in his first season at the Magpies, with the forward spending most of the year in the VFL after kicking just two goals in three senior games - with his last coming in round three.

Speaking on Melbourne radio station SEN on Friday, Buckley said a communication breakdown with suspended director of football Graeme Allan didn't allow for the smoothest recruitment of Mayne.

Allan, who took over from Neil Balme at the end of the 2016 season, is currently serving a one-year suspension for his role in helping Greater Western Sydney player Lachie Whitfield avoid a drug test in his time at the Giants.

With the former Docker still having three seasons to run on his contract, Buckley concedes he and his list management team – headed by Derek Hine – have some decisions to make.

"There were a few things mixed up with (Mayne's recruitment)," Buckley said.

"The director of football was flipping around, and there were a few things that happened in there that weren't ideal.

"It's been a tough year for 'Mayney', and we've got some decisions to make going forward with that.

"[It] hasn't been a great result for the first 12 months.

"'Mayney' is currently playing VFL football, and has been first-class with his attitude and his commitment to the club and the team, as we knew he would.

"But (his form) at AFL level hasn't been at (where) we or he thought it was going to be."

While Buckley said a senior coach is too busy to be keeping a close eye on talent available at an upcoming draft, he added he has a much better idea of established AFL players who the club can attract through free agency or a trade.

"If you trade for a player or get a player through free agency, they're not free because they (take salary cap space), it takes a piece of the pie you can't go and allocate elsewhere," Buckley said.

"That's a full-time role, and Derek's done that for a long time, he's had great success.

"The senior coach doesn't have time to work out those numbers.

"I've always had the belief if you're a senior coach, on exposed form (of an established player), you always have a say in than the national draft, because you just don't have time to watch those guys."