Buckley opens up on Pies Trade Period

16 November 2020 16:39:14 GMTPlus11

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley has admitted salary cap pressure has been building for some time and the club had to bite the bullet and move players out during the Trade Period.

The Pies have come in for some heavy criticism from fans and pundits alike following a dramatic few weeks that resulted in four players leaving last Thursday.

Adam Treloar headed to the Western Bulldogs, Tom Phillips to Hawthorn, while Jaidyn Stephenson and Atu Bosenavulagi both joined North Melbourne.

The departures may have come as a shock to some, but not Buckley and the powers that be, who knew this time was coming after putting it on hold in previous years.

Much has been said, with Treloar and Stephenson pretty vocal since they left the Pies, and Buckley went on SEN to try and set the record straight.

When asked if players had to be driven out, he admitted: "Yes, we had to. The conversations were pretty short and sharp, and for a varying number of reasons. Some were inside their control and others had absolutely nothing to do with those individuals.

"It's been on the cards for probably the past three or four years. We nearly won the title in '18, we were around the mark and contending, we decided to keep the group together for as much as possible, and that required us – or the list manager and footy manager – to push back these cap issues for right or for wrong.

"There are a lot of things which have come to pass over the last 24 months that have brought these decisions forward, and we thought this was the time we needed to stop pushing our pain into the future and take it all in one gulp now."

Collingwood are priced at 12/1 to win the 2021 AFL grand final.

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