Simon O'Donnell is keen to see what happens at Collingwood in season 2021 after what unfolded at the club during the recent draft and free agency period.
Speaking on SEN Breakfast, O'Donnell said he is concerned that the trust in the inner sanctum at Collingwood may have been strained after a tumultuous off-season that saw Adam Treloar, Tom Phillips and Jaidyn Stephenson pushed out the door.
“I’m more concerned about the inner sanctum, about the players themselves with all the Adam Treloar issues and players exiting Collingwood, the rumor mill and who said what. That just didn’t go away for a long period of time,” O’Donnell said.
“I wonder where that all sits now with the coach and his players. That’s the relationship that needs to be rebuilt if there has indeed been a fracture.
"Trust is the key ingredient for any sporting club, and for the elite ones it’s the bones, it’s the whole lot, it’s everything.
“That’s going to be the most important thing for Nathan Buckley because when it comes to looking your players in the eye and asking your players for herculean effort, it only takes one pair of eyes that don’t pay attention and you’re done.
O’Donnell explained why the Pies will be such an interesting case study in 2021.
“I think they always are, but there’s an extra layer to it now with what has happened,” O’Donnell said.
“When you question trust within a unit, that is probably the biggest stumbling block you have to get over. If you don’t get over it, the fall from grace will be mighty.
“Eddie’s decision is an interesting one that will run alongside this as well. Will there be that bit of ‘do it for the boss, do it for the guy who has given 23 years of impeccable service to the club’?
“There are a lot of different layers here that I want to watch unfold.”
Collingwood will begin its 2021 season on Friday March 19th against Adam Treloar and the Western Bulldogs at the MCG.