Jake Carlisle will be one of the AFL’s most in-demand players this off-season after requesting a trade from current home Essendon.
Carlisle, 23, is out of contract with the Bombers and has told the club on Tuesday that he won’t be back for 2016.
The 198cm, 98kg key position player has shown his ability to play both in attack and defence in six seasons with Essendon and is reportedly interesting St Kilda, Carlton, North Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs.
Essendon’s football boss Rob Kerr said the club was disappointed with the move and would seek to trade him next month.
“Jake and his management have indicated they wish to work with the club to ensure a fair and reasonable trade deal that is appropriate for both parties, and this what we will be endeavouring to achieve,” he said.
If the Bombers can’t organise a trade for Carlisle by the end of trade period in mid-October, he will be free to move in the pre-season draft.
Carlisle gave a glimpse of his intentions last month during the Bombers’ round 19 capitulation to GWS Giants.
He was widely reported as yelling “this club is f****d” from the interchange bench within earshot of fans.
Caretaker coach Matthew Egan foreshadowed the move on Tuesday morning, telling radio station SEN the fact he hadn’t re-signed “wasn’t great news”.
“I really hope he does (stay), because he’s really important with his age demographic and how he fits in the group, and those sorts of guys don’t grow on trees,” he said.
“He’s a big, big man and he can play forward and back, so if we do lose him it will be a big loss.”
Carlisle is one of 34 past and present Bombers still subject to WADA proceedings from the club’s 2012 supplements regime.