Love blossoms on the forward line
Adam Treloar and Kelsey Tomkins at a Brownlow Medal function. Picture: Getty Images

Of all the moments where football has had a huge impact on Adam Treloar's life, the most profound was while running water for the Noble Park under-13 girls team eight years ago.

Greater Western Sydney was still years away from being created that winter morning and an AFL career was just a dream.

But as he handed water to Kelsey Tomkins, it began a relationship which has taken them to a life they couldn't have imagined.

Tomkins and Treloar didn't start dating until they were 15.

They have remained a couple throughout the hard-nosed midfielder's rise through the Dandenong Stingrays to being pre-selected by GWS as a 17-year-old, to him living in the club's Breakfast Point accommodation, finishing fifth in last year's best and fairest and now living together in NSW with their pet dog.

"It's funny what footy does for you," Treloar said.

"It's become my career but it's also what made me meet my girl-friend and we've been together for five-and-a-half years.

"She always played in the ruck and went forward.

"She says she was a better shot for goal than me because she kicked five goals in a game once.

"She tries to hold that against me."

Of the 46 players on the GWS list, only nine don't live with a teammate or staff member, so Treloar, who will return from an ankle injury for today's home clash with Richmond, is experiencing a life different to most of his teammates.

Coach Leon Cameron said the Giants desperately wanted every player's partner to feel welcome around the club because of their importance to the team's success.

Only five GWS players were recruited directly from a NSW junior club and they are all from the country.

That has meant the entire playing list has relocated to play football.

"It's hugely important for us," Cameron said.

"It means players are happy off field. They've had to leave their homes and come up to start a new side from scratch.

"It's not just the players. It's the entire staff as well.

"It makes it a hell of a lot easier if you have a partner along the way.

"In the case of Adam Treloar, Kelsey is a terrific girl. She gives him great support. You can see when he rocks in day by day, if things aren't going well or we are going through some tough times, he has someone to go home to who understands."

Treloar's ability to settle in NSW with Tomkins is just another indication of his maturity and why the Giants already see him as a future leader.

GWS' entire leadership group - Callan Ward, Phil Davis, Heath Shaw, Tom Scully, Shane Mumford and Stephen Gilham - all played for other teams before joining the Giants, so the club has an emerging group of leaders to build the next wave of talent.

That includes Treloar, Stephen Coniglio, Devon Smith, Jeremy Cameron, Dylan Shiel, Curtly Hampton, Matt Buntine and Jonathan Giles.

It's a position that Treloar takes seriously.

"I want people to look back on me and my career as the most professional person at the club who did everything right to be the best footy player I can be," Treloar said.

"I still get nervous talking to the group but what makes me a leader is my professionalism around the club and I think people look up to that. In my opinion, to be a professional athlete you've got to live the life 24/7.

"You've obviously got to have down time but you've always got to be on top of your recovery and doing extras, never being late to meetings, your diet and always having your hard drive with games of the opposition coming up. I'm pretty strict on myself."

Treloar's approach extends to his life away from football.

The 21-year-old didn't complete Year 12 because of his move to Sydney and he's determined to make up for it.

While his career is blossoming, he's aware of the importance of a back-up plan and has thrown himself into further education.

"I was going to have a year off school and go back when I was 18 on a scholarship," Treloar said.

"But then the Giants selected me, I moved up and didn't have time to do Year 12.

"I wasn't the best at school so I'm glad I took this path.

"But the onus is on you if you want to do something else so I'm doing a level-four fitness course that will qualify me to be a personal trainer.

"I can go on from there and try and do some things at uni.

"I'd have qualified if I'd finished Year 12 but because I didn't, this is what I've done.

"I'm doing media too. They are my main two interests."

The West Australian

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