Buckley’s attempt at damage control
Collingwood's list of mistakes since its season ended is longer than Nathan Buckley used to kick a Sherrin, but there's two that have angered fans the most in the wake of Adam Treloar's messy exit.
Even if the Magpies initiated a conversation with their 27-year-old midfield star with good intentions and concern for his welfare after Kim Ravaillion's decision to restart her netball career with the Queensland Firebirds, when he said he was committed to the club and wanted to stay, that should have been the end of the matter.
Especially when you consider the final result of this trade week tragedy is Treloar signing with the Western Bulldogs, another Victorian club.
But even that blooper - which most have seen through as the Magpies simply seizing an opportunity to move out a player it no longer believed was the worth the money he was making - pales in comparison to the alleged conversation Pies coach Nathan Buckley had with Treloar in an attempt to convince him to leave.
Treloar is adamant he was told by a coach who preaches togetherness and vulnerability his teammates wanted him gone.
"That was told to me in no uncertain way and that did hurt, because I know how close I am with the players," Treloar said.
"To be told that, when I don't think that's the truth, and to be told that there's some players that don't want you there when I know the majority of the players love me and care for me, that did hurt a bit.
"But they were adamant on moving me on so no matter how they were going to go about it, it was going to happen. It was a fight up until the end, because I wanted to be at Collingwood."
But according to AFL reporter Tom Browne, who works with Collingwood president Eddie McGuire at Triple M and has been perhaps the club's staunchest media defender in the past few days, Buckley remembers the phone call differently.
So stung by the reaction to Treloar's exit, which has seen Collingwood supporters protest outside the club and Buckley attacked in the media, the 48-year-old mentor attempted to have a second go.
According to Browne he reached out to Treloar to clarify senior players didn't want him out but had raised concerns about their ability to rely on him to run both ways during games.
"Bucks has reached out to Treloar, trying to clarify the senior players didn't want him gone, but rather was providing feedback from the midfield, on their ability to rely on Treloar defensively," Browne tweeted. "It appears their recollection of the calls/feedback differ."
We haven't heard from Buckley since he described the final day of the trade period as his "toughest day in footy" and the Herald Sun's Jon Ralph has called on the nine-year coach to front up.
"As Denis Pagan often quipped, 'Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining'. The Pies can't spin this. Nathan Buckley just needs to do a Monday presser where he answers every single question about the past fortnight. However long it takes. Never seen the fanbase so enraged," Ralph tweeted.
Originally published as Buckley's attempt at damage control