Jake Carlisle might well be the most interesting man in football at the moment. Two years ago he was a potential All-Australian Fullback and a dominating defender that was touching up pretty much every key forward in the competition not named Jarrad Waite. Then James Hird tried to turn him into a key forward.
To say the move backfired would in my mind be an understatement. Though he’s shown flashes of top end ability as a forward he’s largely sooked about his move forward and ultimately lost faith in the club he’s played nearly 100 games for. How much of this can be put down to the drugs saga and how much can be attributed to the move forward can probably never be quantified but when he uttered the now infamous words “this club is fucked” against GWS his fate as a Bomber seemed sealed.
With three weeks remaining in the season there’s not a tonne Carlisle or Essendon can do to rehabilitate his image as a malcontent but I don’t think that matters. When the trade period rolls around it appears he will still be a player that carries value for the Bombers in the offseason. How they deal with him will in many ways show us where Essendon and their staff think the club is at.
Here are a few scenarios that the Bombers could pursue come trade week:
Carlisle & 2016 Round 3 Pick to GWS
Treloar to Collingwood
Collingwood 2015 Round 1 Pick & Witts to Essendon
Many people are saying Treloar to Collingwood is a done deal. If Essendon can get involved it may work out well as GWS are in a position where a quality key defender may be more valuable to them than another early pick as they push towards finals. Witts is the 2nd banana in the rucks stakes at Collingwood behind Grundy but a move to Essendon would probably make him the number 1 ruck option and the pick would obviously help the rebuild after a couple of years of draft sanctions at Essendon.
Leave The Drug Jokes Out of It
Carlisle to Gold Coast
Bennell to Essendon
Carlisle to St Kilda
Tom Hickey, Eli Templeton and Tom Lee to Essendon
Most in the media are suggesting the Bombers will want picks for Carlisle but an offer like this could tempt them if they want to try and fill a few holes or add some players that might help cover them in the event of WADA rubbing out a few of their players.
Hickey has shown a lot of promise as a ruckman that can push forward but Billy Longer seems to have a hold on the #1 job at St Kilda and the emergence on Jason Holmes might see the Saints put Hickey on the table. Templeton, 20, would give the Bombers some needed zip around goals and Lee is another tall forward prospect that has been starved of opportunity at St Kilda with the arrival of Bruce and McCartin.
Carlisle to Carlton
Round 1 Pick to Essendon
To me this seems like the most likely outcome. The Blues won’t trade their highest pick but with the likes of Bell, Yarran and Henderson looking to make a move the Blues could have 3 or 4 1st round picks in their possession and it would make sense to move one of them for a young established key defender they could add in to their backline to compliment the likes of Jamison, Docherty and Buckley.
The next couple of months are going to be extremely interesting for Essendon supporters and the future of Jake Carlisle will be a big part of it. He may yet remain a Bomber, but should he move the competition for his services could mean that Essendon gets a very healthy return for him. As it stands Carlton, St Kilda, North Melbourne and the Bulldogs have all indicated they would be keen to acquire him and I’m sure more players will emerge as the offseason progresses.