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Collingwood star Travis Cloke admits Nathan Freeman needs a fresh start

Collingwood star Travis Cloke says he can understand why Nathan Freeman wants to leave the club.

The former first round draft pick has requested a trade to St Kilda after just two years with the Pies.

He’s yet to play an AFL match.

While Cloke said he’d ‘love’ to play alongside Freeman in 2016, he admitted the youngster probably needed a fresh start.

‘He’s had a pretty tough couple of years with hamstring injuries, so I couldn’t imagine he’d been enjoying his football too much due to that,’ Cloke said on Sports Today.

‘Yeah, the club has put some time and effort into him but he needs to probably almost get away, I guess, from the club.

‘A new environment, new beginning, and start all over again.’

LISTEN: Travis Cloke explains more on Sports Today

But Leigh Matthews said the Pies should call Freeman’s bluff and risk losing him for nothing.

Matthews said the Pies had to stand firm and threaten to send Freeman into the pre-season draft, out of principle alone.

‘Collingwood should not trade him,’ Matthews declared on Sports Today.

‘I reckon it’s a principle the clubs have to be prepared to do, otherwise this is going to happen next year and it’s going to become even more regular.

‘The principle is more important, long term, than maybe the net loss.’

LISTEN: Leigh Matthews explains his point of view on 3AW