THE ONLY person from Collingwood's hierarchy Jaidyn Stephenson heard from before being traded to North Melbourne was coach Nathan Buckley – and that was because Stephenson called him.
The 2018 NAB AFL Rising Star winner said he was initially shocked to be put up for trade, then hurt, and ultimately disappointed with the way the Magpies handled his exit.
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Speaking to Trade Radio just hours after he became a Kangaroo on a five-year deal, Stephenson said he was blindsided.
My toughest day in footy....bar none.— Nathan Buckley (@ncb_cfc) November 12, 2020
Managing contracted players who love the environment out of the club is a lose/lose situation in the short term.
The decisions aren’t popular but they were necessary.
I wish Adam, Jaidyn, Tom and Atu all the best at their new clubs.
"It all happened very quickly at my end," Stephenson said.
"I got a call from my manager about a week before Trade Period started and he said ' think they're putting you up for trade'. I was shocked.
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"I thought I'd get on the front foot and I gave Bucks a call. He said to look for a trade and they'd facilitate it."
Stephenson also said on SEN radio that Buckley had told him he was too reserved.
"He just said he doesn't know if I allowed myself to open up to the group, which I don't necessarily agree with, but if that's the way he saw it, he's the coach. But I'll definitely be endearing myself to my new teammates and coaches if that's what he thought my problem was."
Stephenson conceded he had a poor season but said there was no hint of being moved in his exit interview at the end of the season.
"I was obviously very happy playing at Collingwood," he said.
"I enjoyed being there, so to be told in a way that you're not wanted, it does hurt.
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"I'm disappointed I don't get to show my full potential at Collingwood. That's their loss and North's gain hopefully."