Shock and Treloar fuels Tiger Army for battle
YOU reckon Adam Treloar will be in for a hostile reception from the Tiger Army tonight?
Not because he's a former player who walked out on them - or has a history of biffing their blokes.
It's because he chose Collingwood over Richmond when leaving GWS and returning to Victoria. And it didn't just come down to a game of eeny, meeny, miny, moe.
"A lot of people might think I'm silly because Richmond have a lot of good players. But I think Collingwood have a better list ... a younger list, who in a couple of years' time can hopefully win a premiership," Treloar said after donning the black and white for the first time last October.
Tiger fans, of course, were furious, with the most outspoken being champion player turned media commentator Kevin Bartlett who said Treloar was "delusional" if he thought the Magpies were going to win a flag before the Tigers.
His decision did come a month after Richmond had contested its third straight finals series, while Collingwood had been consigned to finishing a lowly 12th.
But Treloar certainly hasn't been alone in spurning Tiger advances in recent seasons... for whatever the reasons.
While they have been largely content with their lot through various drafts, it has become clear the Tigers have felt a need for some additional star power to progress from being perennial also-rans to actually winning a first final since 2001.
"Without mentioning names, we are in a fortunate position in that we've got salary cap space," Tigers football manager Dan Richardson spruiked in 2014.
"We think a big club like Richmond, with our facilities now at Punt Rd... it's an attractive proposition for players out there."
Unfortunately it hasn't been - not for the top-end talent anyway - with Treloar following his former Giants teammate Dylan Shiel in rejecting Richmond, while Harley Bennell wasn't interested either last year, despite a Tiger contingent heading over to Perth to talk to him before he decided to join Fremantle.
Richmond hasn't had one big-name signing this decade, with all due respect to ruckman Ivan Maric (2010), who wasn't getting a regular game at Adelaide, and Troy Chaplin (2012), the dour defender from Port Adelaide.
Shaun Hampson (Carlton, 2013), Taylor Hunt (Geelong, 2014), Jacob Townsend (GWS, 2015), Andrew Moore (Port, 2015) and an injury-riddled Chris Yarran (Carlton, 2015) have arrived as trades or free agents, while Anthony Miles (GWS, 2013) has been great after being cut by the Giants.
Collingwood, meanwhile, has loaded up with Taylor Adams (GWS) in 2013, Travis Varcoe (Geelong), Jack Crisp (Brisbane) and Levi Greenwood (North) in 2014 and Jeremy Howe (Coll), James Aish (Brisbane) and Treloar in 2015, on top of some pretty impressive kids such as Jordan de Goey and Darcy Moore.
So, yes, on paper, the Magpies may have a better list going forward, but unfortunately for them a few names on that list - Travis Cloke, Dane Swan, Ben Reid and Mitch Brown - have an asterisk next to them.
Then there is the question of whether Collingwood actually has the better coach. That's a whole other story.