Adam Treloar has set up a goal with his first touch in Western Bulldogs colours as a mixture of boos and cheers filled the MCG.
The midfielder lined up for his new team’s opening game of the season against his old team Collingwood despite lingering worries over a calf problem.
And when he first got his hands on the ball Treloar proved why the Bulldogs were happy to take him in when the Pies sent him packing.
“Listen to the boos and the cheers in equal measure!” James Brayshaw said in commentary for Channel 7.
Treloar picked up the ball in acres of space, bounced once and kicked the ball perfectly to key forward Aaron Naughton.
“If there has ever been a knock (on Treloar), some people say that it’s his kicking,” Kangaroos great Wayne Carey said.
“Couldn’t have got more lace-out to Naughton.
“Naughton dropped one only a minute ago because he was expecting body contact. Often they drop because of that.
“There’s no way you could drop that, that’s a beautiful kick (from Treloar).”
Hawthorn premiership captain Luke Hodge noted the mixed emotions between Collingwood’s players and fans.
“We saw before the game Tyler Brown give (Treloar) a hug,” Hodge said.
“I don’t think the Collingwood supporters knew what to do – some were booing, some cheering.
“As soon as the ball came off his boot you could hear the Bulldogs supporters get up and about.
“They know they’ve picked up an absolute star and they got him vey, very cheap.”
Former Magpies forward Brian Taylor reckoned Collingwood fans would get “more agitated” if Treloar continued to find the ball.
But Carey perhaps summed it up best: “Not sure why, he didn’t want to leave!”
Treloar was forced out for salary cap reasons but the Pies drew heavy criticism for blaming his fiancee Kim Ravaillion’s move to Queensland with their young daughter.
Treloar has consistently denied any issues with her shift north to resume her netball career.
He told Channel 7’s Matthew Richardson before the game that he had moved on from the bitter exit.
“It’s been a really crazy build-up but really looking forward to it,” he said.
“It’s like any regular game for me. Obviously it’s not, considering I’m playing against a team that I loved and adored so much – and I still do – but now I’m just wearing the red, white and blue.”
Treloar was driven to the MCG by the man almost forced out of the Bulldogs by his arrival but who has become his “best mate” – Josh Dunkley.
Dunkley requested a trade to Essendon last year in search of more midfield time, and he loomed as the biggest loser when that move failed to materialise after Treloar was secured.
But they have meshed off the field, spending time together in Noosa with Ravaillion and Dunkley’s sister Kara – teammates at the Queensland Firebirds.