Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley has denied a bombshell claim that he told Adam Treloar in a phone call that his senior teammates no longer want him at the club.Treloar is contracted until 2025 but speculation surrounding his future began when fiancee and new mum Kim Ravaillion announced a deal to return to netball with the Queensland Firebirds.Since then Collingwood have angled to trade Treloar, ostensibly to clear his considerable salary off their books, against his desire to remain.But numerous reports ahead of the trade period have attempted to paint the 27-year-old in a bad light.Described as a poor student on the track, the Pies are said to believe he will be unable to maintain peak performance amid the emotional strain of living away from his partner and their young child.Treloar said Ravaillion’s Super Netball contract was signed after numerous discussions between the couple about their ability to live in separate states.But it appeared on Monday that Collingwood weren’t letting up on their bid to force Treloar out of the club.“This is unfortunate for the player concerned,” SEN journalist Sam Edmund said on Trade Radio.“What we can say as absolute fact is Nathan Buckley had a phone conversation with Adam Treloar last week where he told him that Collingwood’s more senior players didn’t want him around the club any more.“We were wondering how Collingwood would seek to pour more pressure on forcing Adam Treloar out – now we have our answer.Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley with midfielder Adam Treloar. Credit: AAP“Now they’re telling him his teammates want him out, which I find staggering as he’s a very popular player at that football club.”Buckley denied that the phone call took place, adding that the leadership group won’t make a list decision, while hitting out at but not shutting down the speculation about the club’s position.“’Absolute fact’…news to me Sam,” he wrote.“The constant rumour and innuendo is disrespectful to Adam, the club and our supporters. We’ll continue to communicate directly and sensitively with Adz and his management.“FYI, our leaders don’t sit on list management, it’s not their job.”The Brisbane Lions have already ruled out a play for Treloar, while the Gold Coast Suns have not engaged because Treloar has not yet budged on his plans to stick with Collingwood.If he has now reached the point of no return, it remains to be seen if he will also consider staying in Victoria with a local club.Essendon premiership player Matthew Lloyd, who criticised the Magpies last week for their treatment of Treloar, hit out again on Monday.“Collingwood have to start talking now,” he wrote on Twitter.Treloar stands to earn up to $900,000 per year on his deal with the Magpies.Meanwhile, Lloyd believes Collingwood’s reported willingness to trade Jaidyn Stephenson could be little more than a tactical ploy to light a fire under the 21-year-old.Stephenson fell out of favour at the Pies this year, missing the opening round and the first game after the restart before he was later dropped in the back half of the season.He returned to play in Collingwood’s two finals but recent reports say he has not done enough to entirely convince the club he is a player for the future.Jaidyn Stephenson is reportedly under contract for another three seasons. Credit: GettyThe 2018 Rising Star winner’s contract was thought to run out at the end of next season – but News Corp reports he quietly re-signed last year until the end of 2023.That previously unknown detail removes pressure for Stephenson to perform in a contract year but adds to the Pies’ frustrations, given they are in a bind with contract extensions adding up in a tight salary cap.Lloyd acknowledged Collingwood would be disappointed in Stephenson’s performances relative to his wages.But he questioned whether the leaked rumours may have been planted to motivate the young player to improve, rather than the Pies holding a serious desire to trade him.Collingwood forward Brody Mihocek celebrates with Jaidyn Stephenson. Credit: GettyLloyd said Jobe Watson’s experiences at Essendon, when he shaped up after being challenged by coach Kevin Sheedy, are an example for Stephenson to follow.“Jaidyn’s got to take a good look at himself in a lot of aspects,” the premiership player said on Trade Radio.“Maybe Collingwood are just giving him a wake-up call that he needs because he’s probably just floated along, done it on natural talent.“He’s got to work harder and ask himself a lot of questions about where he’s at and how he needs to improve.”
Collingwood are refusing to let up in their bid to force Adam Treloar out of the club – this development could be the end of the road.