Nick Riewoldt says he cringed when he say Collingwood players greeting Adam Treloar warmly before their clash with Western Bulldogs on Friday night, describing the gesture as "embarrassing".
Treloar exacted some sweet revenge on the club that forced him out during last year's trade period as the Bulldogs opened their AFL season with a 16-point win at the MCG.
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The star midfielder had 18 disposals, five clearances and a cool hand in the Dogs' hot start on Friday night, helping his new side snap a four-game losing streak against the Magpies.
While Collingwood fans may have unceremoniously booed him in the opening stages, Magpies players were much kinder.
A number of players went to Treloar before the first bounce, shaking hands and hugging their former teammate.
While undoubtedly a nice gesture, St Kilda great Riewoldt believes Collingwood lost the chance to get an early edge on Treloar.
“I cringed when I saw that. When I saw Adam Treloar walk out to his position I was fixated on him because I wanted to see what the Collingwood players did,” Riewoldt said on Fox Footy on Monday night.
“Listening to Adam during the week there was high anxiety, a high level of nerves and he was desperate to get it over with. He would’ve been wondering within himself ‘are they going to come for me?’
“When a player comes up straight away and gives you a hi-five, a big smile and a hug - give me a spell. I thought it was embarrassing.”
However Melbourne Demons great Garry Lyon suggested the Pies might have been wanting to send a message about their own club's handling of Treloar's exit.
“This is my take on it, I might be off the mark. This is a footy club whose players distanced themselves from their administration over the ‘Do Better’ report ... they put the letter out and stood on their own,” he said.
“I got the sense that this was almost like ‘Hey, we don’t like this decision either’.
"I’m not saying they would’ve gone easy on him but they weren’t prepared to go to the next degree which is to be nasty and filthy.
“It looked like they’re saying to their coaches as Nathan Buckley looks down ‘you made the decision, we don’t agree with it, we’ll handle this in our own way.’”
Adam Treloar gets revenge over former AFL club
Collingwood forced Treloar out of the club during last November's trade period and the emotional midfielder publicly addressed the saga again during the build-up to his first outing with the Bulldogs.
Treloar's fiancee Kim Ravaillion was dragged into the saga when the Pies suggested he should seek a trade to a Queensland club after she signed to play Super Netball with the Firebirds.
But the reality was that Collingwood were desperate to shed Treloar's $4.5 million contract to ease some salary cap pressure.
Treloar started on a wing and copped boos from the Magpie Army in the opening minutes, but showed composure with his first touch to set up a goal for Aaron Naughton.
Late in the final term, long after the early jeers, Treloar was applauded by both sets of fans.
"Adam would absolutely just be relieved," Dogs coach Luke Beveridge said.
"I don't think any player in maybe the history of the game has ever had so much publicity with a move from one club to the other, so you can imagine the emotional rollercoaster that he's been on."
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