The football world was shocked to hear that Taylor Adams requested a trade away from Collingwood shortly after the club won its 16th premiership in 2023.

Adams - who missed out on the ultimate glory due to injury in the Qualifying final against Melbourne - felt displaced at the club, playing out of position and being "replaceable" as a high half-forward.

Nearing the end of the home-and-away season, the 30-year-old's manager started seeking potential moves to rival clubs, with one sticking out as a plausible landing spot.

Adams admitted that he had to make a decision "with his head and not his heart", which resulted in a request to leave the Pies and head to Sydney.

"It was a shock," Adams said on The Unlaced Podcast.

"I was pretty disappointed by the feedback and the transparency I got from Collingwood throughout the year.

"There was a bit of misalignment from coach to coach and what I was getting told.

"And I sort of got played out of position where I wasn't playing that well and then you start thinking about, 'I'm out of contract at the end of 2024, are they phasing me out?'"

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 03: Taylor Adams of the Magpies is helped from the ground by trainers during the AFL First Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Collingwood Magpies at Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 03, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Winston Rous (Adams' manager) from Phoenix Management Group understood that the 2020 All-Australian was not content at the AIA Centre and that starting to explore options was a smart business move.

This led to the meeting with Swans Coach John Longmire being set up for the Wednesday before the 2023 Grand Final.

"I was transparent with John (Longmire) and said, 'my preferred move is to not move (from Collingwood) but I got to make a decision with my head'," Adams said.

"He understood and was fantastic.

“I then met with 'Wrighty' (Wright) and 'Fly' (McRae) on the Thursday and Fly basically said, ‘Nothing is going to really change next year, we think you do a great job in the role that you're playing', and I thought, to be honest, he was blowing wind up my ass,” he conceded.

“As I said before, I had to make a decision with my head and I actually didn't hear from Fly at all again which hurt me. He should've called me and had the hard conversation but I can understand why he didn't as he just won a flag and had a baby and there was a lot going on.

"And I don't have any hard feelings about it."

Since the heartbreak of leaving the club Adams played 175 games over 10 years, the midfielder has now found solace at his new home, returning to New South Wales where his career began at the Giants.

The search for the elusive premiership is still real as the hard-nosed midfielder has come close on two occasions to win a premiership, with the 2018 heartbreaking loss still ringing in the back of his mind.

However, 2023 was the one that got away, with a cruel injury preventing Adams from holding the premiership cup aloft.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 30: Taylor Adams of the Magpies and Darcy Moore of the Magpies celebrate during the 2023 AFL Grand Final match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Brisbane Lions at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 30, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

"It still f****** kills me," Adams admitted.

"I didn't want to win a premiership for the medal or be a premiership player. I wanted to win a premiership so that you could see photos around my house of me, Steely, Howey and Pendles. My closest mates.

"I wanted to win a premiership so my grandfather could hold my premiership medal. It's deeper than just being a premiership player.

"I saw that firsthand at the Pies when we won.

"I was so happy for them. To see guys like Billy Frampton, Darcy Cameron, Scott and Steele to do it again and Howey.

"That's what I certainly missed the most. That's what hurts the most."

Adams is now relishing his time at the Swans despite an injury-interrupted start at his third club.

The ex-Pie has featured three times in 2024, where he's averaged 17.3 touches.

Adams will get to feature in his first Sydney Derby against his former side, GWS, on Saturday at the SCG.

After facing each other in Round 1 - a clash Adams missed - the Pies and Swans are set to reunite in Round 22.