HAWTHORN assistant Sam Mitchell looms as an early contender for the vacant Collingwood coaching position after the Pies finalised their sub-committee to find Nathan Buckley's replacement.

Pies premiership midfielder Luke Ball was announced on Tuesday as the fifth member of the panel that will appoint Buckley's successor in coming months. 

AFL.com.au understands Mitchell, who remains out of contract at the Hawks beyond this season, is a person of interest and one option the panel will seek out. 

Mitchell, 38, has intentions to be a senior coach and has this year taken the reins of the Hawks' VFL affiliate Box Hill after two years as the AFL midfield coach under Alastair Clarkson. 

He was West Coast's midfield coach for their 2018 premiership before returning to the club where he won four flags as a player ahead of 2019. 

Ball joins Pies football director Paul Licuria, fellow board member Peter Murphy, chief executive Mark Anderson and head of football Graham Wright on the coaching sub-committee. 

Former Collingwood and St Kilda star Luke Ball. Picture: AFL Photos

The 2010 flag winner, who played 223 games for the Pies and St Kilda, highlighted the factors that could come into the decision when asked for his opinion on ABC Sport earlier this month. 

"It's such a massive job these days," Ball said. 

"You'd have criteria that would have to be met, whether you're go in with a pre-determined view of experience versus new, whether the fact it's such a big club and you're coming in after such a big name whether that's a factor."

Ball was previously president of the AFL Players' Association (2012-2014), worked in the AFL's football operations (2015-2017) and was recently at Essendon in a performance management role (2018-2020). He is currently an account manager at financial advisory firm Partners Wealth Group in Melbourne. 

"Luke is an outstanding football person, someone all in the game respect for his great character and acumen," Anderson said. 

"His perspectives and abilities will be a certain asset as we embark on the process of seeking our next senior AFL coach."

Collingwood caretaker coach Robert Harvey talks to Steele Sidebottom during the round 15 clash with Fremantle at Marvel Stadium on June 26, 2021. Picture: Getty Images

Ball's former St Kilda coach and ex-Dockers coach Ross Lyon said earlier this month he would take a call from the Pies should they reach out. 

Lyon revealed regret at Ball's departure from his Saints side following the 2009 Grand Final loss to Geelong when speaking on an episode of The Coach last year. 

"He took some IP (intellectual property), with Max Hudghton (as an assistant coach) to help teach the press to Collingwood, and their talent was very strong," Lyon said.

"I could see the St Kilda peoples' works, and Clarko's (Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson) as well, and they adjusted very quickly and they became a great defensive team as well.

"It was a fine line, wasn't it (the Saints drew with the Pies in the Grand Final of 2010, then got belted in the replay)? They dominated (the replay), they were the best team the whole year."

Lyon underutilised Ball in the second half of the Saints' losing decider to Cats, but the midfielder stressed he had no problem with Lyon after the move across town. 

Luke Ball after St Kilda's loss in the 2019 Grand Final to Geelong. Picture: AFL Photos