North Melbourne have signed highly-rated Hawthorn midfielder Jed Anderson in a trade that could clear the decks for the AFL premiers’ swoop for Essendon big man Jake Carlisle.
Anderson, 21, moves to Arden Street along with draft picks No.38 and No.40 in exchange for North’s first and third round options – No.15 and No.54.
Having secured a second first round selection, Hawthorn are willing to use both (No.15 and No.18) on Carlisle, who has indicated his preference to go to St Kilda.
Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson said on Friday he expected Carlisle to end up at the Saints but the premiers were ready to pounce if those clubs couldn’t strike a deal.
Essendon have asked St Kilda for pick five in exchange for Carlisle, which the Saints have previously baulked at.
At the launch of for Australia’s 2015 International Rules clash with Ireland, Clarkson added to the pressure on Alan Richardson’s side to seal the deal for the Bomber defender.
“We probably fully expect that deal is going to go through (between) St Kilda and Essendon at some point in time but if it doesn’t, we’ve indicated our interest in securing Jake if the terms are right,” Clarkson said.
“We emerged as a player in that when St Kilda couldn’t come to the party in terms of satisfying Essendon with the deal.”
Irrespective of whether the premiers can get that mega-trade done, the Kangaroos are delighted to have secured promising Northern Territory product Anderson.
North Melbourne’s list manager Cameron Joyce said the club was happy to secure his signature, given the wide interest in the young midfielder.
“Jed is a quality young man and he has impressed many during his time at the Hawks both on and off the field,” Joyce said.
“We know that there was plenty of interest in Jed and are delighted he sees his future in North Melbourne colours. We can’t wait to see him in action this pre-season and beyond.”
Anderson said he was keen to improve his chances of first-team football, after playing just 10 matches for the Hawks since his debut in round one of the 2013 season.
“North Melbourne have shown over the past couple of years that they are building towards something really exciting and I’m looking forward to being part of that,” he said.