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Lion turns Blue as complex deal seals trade

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 25: Tayla Harris of the Lions kicks the ball during the 2017 AFLW Grand Final match between the Brisbane Lions and the Adelaide Crows at Metricon Stadium on March 25, 2017 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Tayla Harris will join Carlton for the next AFLW season

HIGH-FLYING Tayla Harris will play for Carlton in the AFLW in 2018.

A complex four-club deal finalised on Thursday morning saw Harris move from the Brisbane Lions to the Blues, who sent forward Bella Ayre and midfielder Nat Exon to the Gabba and forward Bianca Jakobsson to Melbourne.

The Demons traded defender Deanna Berry to the Western Bulldogs.

"It’s a real endorsement for our club to have a player of the calibre of Tayla wanting to be a part of our journey," Carlton coach Damien Keeping said on carltonfc.com.au.

"She was the leading contested marker in the competition this season and we will look to capitalise on that strength all over the ground."

Harris, a marquee player for the Lions in 2017, told the club weeks ago she wanted to move to a Melbourne-based club, with Carlton – which dealt for Collingwood's best and defender Nicola Stevens last week – not shy about its desire to sign the 20-year-old long-kicking forward.

Which club best suits Tayla Harris

The Blues have gambled in giving up three players, including the promising Ayre, who was nominated for the NAB AFLW Rising Star Award.

However the addition of Harris should spark their forward set-up, with the Brisbane-born blonde playing across half-forward and the smaller Darcy Vescio nearer goal. 

New Demon Jakobsson played seven games for the Blues this year. The 24-year-old previously represented Melbourne in AFL women's series exhibition matches.

"We've been interested in 'BJ' since she played here, so to have her return is really exciting," Melbourne's women's football operations manager Debbie Lee told melbournefc.com.au.

"We know what type of character she is and she has great football attributes."

 

Lions women's team CEO Breeanna Brock told lions.com.au that securing Ayre and Exon "ensured the club covered the loss of Harris".

"This is a strong result for our football club – Isabella and Nat will only add to our playing depth."

Here is what each club will receive:

BRISBANE LIONS

Bella Ayre and Nat Exon from Carlton

CARLTON

Tayla Harris from the Brisbane Lions

Draft pick No. 12 from the Western Bulldogs

MELBOURNE

Bianca Jakobsson from Carlton

WESTERN BULLDOGS

Deanna Berry from Melbourne

In another deal completed on Thursday morning, Melbourne agreed to send ruck/forward Madeleine Boyd to Greater Western Sydney for pick 33 in October's NAB AFLW Draft.