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Buckley’s final insult to unwanted stars

AFL legend Garry Lyon believes Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley gave the club’s departing stars a “slap” on the way out as the Pies deal with the fallout of a tumultuous Trade Period.Four players, including Adam Treloar and Jaidyn Stephenson, were shown the exit as Collingwood tries to bend its salary cap back into shape. In…

AFL legend Garry Lyon believes Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley gave the club’s departing stars a “slap” on the way out as the Pies deal with the fallout of a tumultuous Trade Period.

Four players, including Adam Treloar and Jaidyn Stephenson, were shown the exit as Collingwood tries to bend its salary cap back into shape. In a radio interview with SEN’s Gerard Whateley on Monday, Buckley said the decision to punt key players was “brutal” but necessary to ensure long-term success.

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During that interview the Magpies mentor addressed a wide range of issues around Collingwood’s clean-out, including suggestions Treloar’s partner, netball star Kim Ravaillion, was the reason behind the talented midfielder being told to find a new home.

But comments Buckley made about the “fabric” of the club are what Melbourne icon Lyon found most interesting.

“We’ve let some talent go, there’s no doubt, the perception is that we’re going to be worse off in 2021,” Buckley told Whateley. “It’s our determination that we’ve actually let players go that we can replace.

“It’s our determination that we’ve let players go that will not damage the fabric of our playing group.

“That’s not to say they weren’t liked or respected. There’s glue guys, there’s people that are fundamental to who you are and sometimes the perception from outside is not what you see or what you live every day inside and that was part of our determination.”

Lyon believes those words would have been hard to hear for players being pushed out against their will, especially Treloar, who is a fan favourite at Collingwood and made no secret of his desire to remain at the club.

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“What he’s saying there is the supporters might love Adam and Jaidyn for that reason, but in their (Collingwood’s) eyes they weren’t fabric guys. They weren’t glue guys,” Lyon said on SEN Breakfast. “I thought that was a real sting in the tail there.

“What he’s saying clearly there is, ‘Hey, I’ve heard all this stuff about how Treloar is a much-loved player and how we’re going to miss Jaidyn’s talent — we can replace them. They’re not fabric guys, they’re not glue guys’.

“That’s as big a kick in the a**e as anything that’s come out of it for me. It’s a big slap.”

Collingwood vice-captain Steele Sidebottom was banned for four matches after a drunken breach of the AFL’s biosecurity protocols earlier this year, but was still retained in the leadership group.

Jordan De Goey has had off-field troubles and although he is yet to sign a new deal, the Pies have been keen to keep him on their books.

Lyon suggested depending on the player, Collingwood would find different language to justify the decisions it makes about its roster.

“Steele Sidebottom must be a fabric guy, he flouted the whole rules, he must be a glue guy,” Lyon said. “The bottom line is Adam Treloar is not a fabric guy or a glue guy.

“Otherwise it’s semantics again. ‘So we’ll keep Jordan (De Goey), because he mightn’t be a fabric guy, but he might be a matchwinning guy’.”

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