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NORTH Melbourne recruit Jarrad Waite says his decision to leave Carlton was based on a desire to sign a two-year contract and challenge for a premiership.
The unrestricted free agent, who officially quit the Blues on Monday, joined the Kangaroos on the first official day of the NAB AFL unrestricted free agency period.
“The main reason (for leaving) was that I always asked for a two-year contract and then I got indications that I thought Carlton were going to start rebuilding soon,” Waite told media on Friday afternoon.
“Obviously, being at my age bracket, it’s probably not the best time to be there.”
Waite said he made his decision to switch clubs “late last week”.
On Tuesday, Carlton coach Mick Malthouse slammed Waite’s decision to quit the club, criticising the 31-year-old for failing to reveal his plans in a private meeting at Malthouse’s home.
But Waite said he never told Malthouse he was going to remain at Visy Park, denying any tension with his now former coach.
“I’ve always got along really well with Mick, I’ve always found him a really good coach,” he said.
“It just came down to contract, we couldn’t get it done.
“It was a decision that I didn’t take lightly, but I feel now that I’ve made the right decision.”
Waite’s addition will bolster the Kangaroos’ forward line, complementing the likes of Ben Brown, Drew Petrie and Lindsay Thomas.
“Big ‘Browny’ showed some really good form in some high-pressure games,” Waite said.
“We know what Drew can do; he’s played well and truly over 200 games.
“I love the way the Roos play their football and I really feel like I’m going to fit in nicely here.”
Waite said he expects to receive a hostile reception from Carlton fans next season.
“I know there are a lot out there that are disappointed.
“I’ve always loved the fans at Carlton … I’ve always been treated pretty well by them.
“Hopefully they can understand this is the best move for me and my family.”
Waite, whose late father Vin was a dual premiership player for Carlton, was recruited under the father-son rule in the 2001 National Draft, and played 184 games and kicked 252 goals in his 12-year association with the Blues.
“Unfortunately, I would’ve loved to have probably played there my whole career but it hasn’t gone that way, and now I’m really excited to start a new chapter in my football life,” he said.
Waite was unable to confirm whether the second year of his contract includes a performance-based clause.
“I actually haven’t gone into too much detail about that,” he said.
“I just want to play my best footy, I want to be out there as often as I can.
“I never left for money … I was not one of those players that was ever going to chase it.”