VERSATILE big man Jake Carlisle has finally made his way to St Kilda after a breakthrough in negotiations with Essendon.
The Bombers secured St Kilda's prized No.5 draft pick, as well as Sydney Swans midfielder Craig Bird, after a three-club trade.
In the deal:
- Essendon receives Bird and pick No.5, gives up Carlisle and pick No.44, and exchanges pick No.23 for pick No.24;
- St Kilda receives Carlisle and pick No.14 and gives up pick No.5 and pick No.24;
- Sydney Swans receive picks No.23 and pick No.44, and gives up pick No.14 and Bird.
Bombers list manager Adrian Dodoro told NAB AFL Trade Radio on Wednesday that the club had not wavered in its approach to secure the Saints' draft pick No.5 as part of the deal.
"There was no way we were going to budge at all," Dodoro said.
"If we weren't going to get (pick) 5, then we wouldn't have done the trade, it's as simple as that."
The combined points from those picks (1177 points) mean the Swans will take more points to the draft to use on their academy prospect Callum Mills and potential father-son selection Josh Dunkley than they would have if they had hung on to selection No.14 (1161 points).
The deal will be a relief to the Saints, who came under enormous pressure last week when Hawthorn put a deal on the table to secure Carlisle in exchange for picks 15 and 18.
Dodoro said he believed Carlisle seemed destined to join the Hawks up until yesterday afternoon.
"I actually thought up until two o'clock yesterday he was going to the Hawks, to be honest, but the Saints pulled out another card," Dodoro said.
"I think Jake was wavering between the two (teams) … but there's no doubt it could've been either way and I'm genuine in that."
That proposal was acceptable to the Bombers but Carlisle, 24, stuck to his original commitment to cross to the Saints, provided they could deliver a deal acceptable to the Bombers before Thursday's trade deadline.
The Swans' involvement became the deal-breaker, with the Sydney club chasing points to secure its academy graduates under the AFL's new academy bidding system.
Bird's willingness to explore opportunities elsewhere also enticed Essendon, with the premiership midfielder - who played 137 games for the Swans - a good fit for the Bombers, who last week lost Jake Melsham to Melbourne.
Dodoro said Bombers coach John Worsfold expressed "a strong desire" in recent days to secure Bird's services.
"He [Worsfold] identified that was a need he wanted to fill (with) an experienced mid that can play a variety of roles," he said.
"He was the missing piece to the deal and it worked really well for us in the end."
The Dons also managed to hang on to both their second round picks, meaning they will now head to the NAB AFL Draft with picks 4, 5, 24 and 25.
The Saints also managed to stay in the first round with pick 14 and landed Carlisle, who declared St Kilda as his preferred destination a fortnight ago.