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GWS key defender Kristian Jaksch has joined Carlton
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KRISTIAN Jaksch and Mark Whiley are officially Carlton players after the Blues and Greater Western Sydney finally signed off on a trade that has been almost two weeks in the making.
Carlton made key-position player Jaksch its top trade target this year and the Blues got their man on Wednesday when GWS agreed to send him, inside midfielder Whiley and pick No.19 to Visy Park in exchange for pick No.7.
The No.12 pick in the 2012 NAB AFL Draft, Jaksch played seven games in two seasons at GWS, including five in 2014 when the Giants' embarrassment of key-forward riches saw him trialled in defence.
Jaksch, 196cm, announced he wished to return to Victoria at the end of the 2014 season, sparking a flurry of interest from Melbourne clubs, with St Kilda the Blues' most serious challenger.
Whiley, 21, was a NSW-ACT zone selection for the Giants in 2011 and played 12 games in his three seasons with the club.
A hard-nosed clearance winner, Whiley will add depth to the Blues' on-ball division.
"Securing Kristian was certainly a priority for us this trade period and we're rapt to have got the deal done," McKay said.
"We see him as a player who is going to give us another tall marking option, as well as flexibility, given he can play forward and back.
"While he is still developing, we believe he will be a 10-year player for our football club.
"Mark is tough inside midfielder, who is terrific around the stoppages. He will give us more ball-getting capability in the midfield."
The deal means the Giants are now armed with picks No.4 and No.7 in next month's draft, further strengthening their hand as they try to complete a trade for outgoing Western Bulldogs captain Ryan Griffen that does not involve their star youngster Tom Boyd.
Carlton is still hopeful of finalising trades for Bulldogs pair Liam Jones and Jason Tutt before Thursday's 2pm deadline.
The Blues were proactive at the trade table last year too, netting Sam Docherty from the Brisbane Lions and Andrejs Everitt from the Sydney Swans.
The pair enjoyed successful first seasons at Visy Park, with Everitt finishing equal seventh in the Blues' best and fairest award and Docherty ninth, despite missing five and six games with injury respectively.