For mum: Why it’s more than a game for Adam Treloar
ADAM Treloar feels a powerful sense of obligation every time he crosses the white line in Collingwood colours.
His desperation to win every week is fuelled by a strong competitive streak, his ambition to win a premiership undiminished.
But for Treloar, it is deeper than that.
He knows each time he plays for Collingwood he also represents the Treloar family name.
He isn't afraid to say he came from very little, in awe of the sacrifices made by mum Darlene to help him achieve AFL stardom.
Famously Darlene would often ration petrol through the week so he could get to football games for Noble Park.
At times seven family members were crammed into a three-bedroom house.
This year he coached Noble Park's Under-12 side in part as a tribute to a football community that helped in so many small ways to get him drafted when he might have otherwise fallen short.
Tomorrow mum will be in the MCG stands watching on, with 25-year-old Treloar determined to make her proud of what he has been able to achieve.
"Mum is as proud as anything, you talk to mum about it and she just starts bawling her eyes out," Treloar tells the Herald Sun.
"I have said before we didn't really have much growing up and we still don't as a family.
"It's a bit hard for mum, she couldn't really afford (to fly to the Perth Stadium game). But she will be there this week.
"When I was 17 before I moved up to the Giants I was sleeping in the hallway.
"We didn't have a room and that might embarrass mum a bit, but it wasn't her fault, it was just due to circumstances that we were put under and that's why I wanted to achieve something.
"To make a name for our name. The Treloar name.
"The success that I have and our team has, plays a massive part in mum's life and our family's life and I love her to bits. I keep playing footy for her.
"No one in our family has really done anything, with due respect to everyone in the family.
"So I look back very proud of where I have come from. I want to make the Treloar name very proud of me.
"I am a very proud family man and I am very proud of my siblings and I love my mum to bits."
For Treloar to not only play in last Saturday's final but excel was some kind of medical miracle.
He was able to recover from a hamstring tendon injury in just 11 weeks, a stunning timeline that included one flat spot where he left the club emotional after sports science boss Kevin White told him he wouldn't make it back this year.
The year has been as tough as any in a career that included homesickness at GWS and the decision to choose Collingwood over Richmond when he departed.
Perversely, he says the injury has helped him rediscover his love of the game after a tough year regarding personal issues he chooses not to expand upon.
"Up until the injury I was going through a bit of stuff mentally as well and without going too far into that I sort of needed a break from footy," he says.
"Two weeks after my injury I was happy I wasn't playing because of what I was going through away from it.
"I was struggling mentally, every footballer goes through things.
"For me I have had a bit going on this year so I was really struggling and I probably would have missed a game of footy here or there but then when it got to game day I just couldn't.
"I had to play. Then I did my hamstring and I had no choice, I couldn't not choose to play.
"So I got a break to sit down and reassess everything and got back into the right frame of mind and I knew I missed footy again."
Treloar's frank admission of those battles is another sign of how far this industry has come with its openness about mental health and the challenges players face.
The hamstring recovery involved that dramatic low point then the key breakthrough 13 days ago in a match simulation session.
"I had a two or three week period where I wasn't improving," he said.
"My pain level wasn't improving and I had a quick meeting after one session and the doctor even said, 'It's going to be tough to get back'.
"That was such a downer and I went home emotional and upset because he pretty much said I won't be able to play.
"But ever since that session I kept improving. That Friday session I had to show the coaches I was ready.
"I did a 5km fartlek session and then the training session and then 20 minutes of match simulation.
"The first play was a stoppage where Brodie hit the ball down to me. The ball was on the ground and I had to pick it up at pace and I did it without thinking and as soon as I did that, I was like, 'I am fine'.
"So now I am making up for lost time, trying to get as strong through my legs and hammies as I can be, but one more game and we could be out, so I have to keep being aggressive with it."