Hawks poised to snatch Bomber Carlisle from under Saints
IF HAWTHORN has taught its rivals anything during its period of dominance, it is to be bold at the trade table.
The Hawks have annually stocked up with suitable recruits and traded away first-round draft picks to get them.
Think Shaun Burgoyne, David Hale, Jack Gunston, Brian Lake, Ben McEvoy and Jono O'Rourke last year.
They look to be at it again, ready to swoop in on Essendon wantaway Jake Carlisle after his club of choice, St Kilda, has spent the past week refusing to relinquish it's top pick in next month's national draft, No.5, to the Bombers.
They have good reason, with players such as Lance Franklin, Scott Pendlebury, Travis Boak, Michael Hurley, Kade Kolodjashnij, Ben Cunnington and Jake Stringer taken with that selection.
But, at 23 and 199cm, Carlisle has the potential to be among the league's best key defenders for the next decade.
While the Saints are well-stocked for life after Nick Riewoldt in attack with Josh Bruce and Paddy McCartin, they only have Hugh Goddard to take over from Sam Fisher, 33, and Sean Dempster, 31.
As part of a three-way deal, the Bombers would receive Hawthorn's pick No.18 and No.15 from North Melbourne, which would receive young Hawk Jed Anderson.
Essendon list manager Adrian Dodoro told Trade Radio yesterday: "The Saints have made it perfectly clear to us that pick 5 is not on the table.
"Jake probably had his heart set on going to St Kilda, and that may still be the case "Right now, we're committed to Hawthorn
"No one is going to take any pleasure in watching one of our players playing for the Hawks, but we've got to do what's best for us."
It is believed Carlisle's preference is still to join St Kilda, with the Saints and his management releasing a joint statement yesterday afternoon saying they would continue working on a deal.
Saints list manager Ameet Bains said: "The club will continue to work with Jake's management and the Essendon Football Club to secure an appropriate trade that will give effect to Jake's wishes".
Player manager Anthony McConville added: "My focus is to work with the clubs to get him to his intended destination. I have full faith and confidence that all parties can work together to achieve a fair outcome for everyone."
While those clubs wait on the Saints' next move, if any, another Bomber, Jake Melksham has joined Melbourne in exchange for pick No.25, while Demon half-forward Jeremy Howe announced he wished to be traded to Collingwood.
Brisbane, meanwhile, opted not to match Essendon's offer for free agent ruckman Matthew Leuenberger, despite being disappointed at its compensation pick (currently 39) from the league.