Nathan Buckley admitted Collingwood had major concerns over Adam Treloar’s family situation and it was a “catalyst” for the AFL midfielder’s controversial departure from the Magpies.
The Collingwood coach spoke for the first time since Treloar, and three other players, were forced out of the club to ease salary cap pressure.
Treloar, who joined the Western Bulldogs last Thursday night, was floated as trade bait during the last off-season before re-signing with the Magpies until 2025.
The 27-year-old’s partner, Kim Ravaillion, is about to move north with their infant daughter Georgie and play Super Netball with the Queensland Firebirds next year.
Buckley said Collingwood hierarchy wondered how being in a long-distance relationship would affect Treloar’s wellbeing.
Treloar was determined to make the situation work and had no intention of moving to Queensland and desperately wanted to remain at the Magpies, where he played 94 games after arriving in 2016 from Greater Western Sydney.
“There’s no doubt that was a catalyst in some shape or form,” Buckley told SEN
“The possibility that he might have been considering going to Queensland and being with his family was part of the reasoning around having the initial discussion 12 months ago, and then again this year.
“Let’s be clear, it’s not our jobs to live Adam’s life: Adam and Kim and their family are entitled to live their lives as they see fit.
“But it is our responsibility to work out on a professional level how that might affect Adam’s ability to do his job, which is to play football and contribute to the club.
“We are within our rights to have an assessment of that given our knowledge of Adam.”
Collingwood’s view was already well-known when Treloar on Friday fronted the media for the first time as a Bulldogs player, labelling their evaluation as “really disappointing”.
Ravaillion, who has 57 Test caps for Australia, feels she has been used as a “scapegoat” to move Treloar on.
Buckley said there was no way Treloar’s split from Collingwood could have been done “without trauma or pain”.
“These were really hard conversations,” he said.
“I am old enough and mature enough to understand in high pressure situations, in situations that involve the heart that unpredicted outcomes can occur.
“This is brutal. This was always going to be a shock and always going to cause distress.
“Adam’s a heart and soul person. My personal relationship with him is important to me.
“We’re really close but obviously it’s strained at the moment and the dust is yet to settle on that.”