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 is understood to have 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 as both in attack and defence in six seasons with Essendon and is reportedly interesting St Kilda, Carlton, North Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs.
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 gave a glimpse of his intentions to leave the club 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.
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 is one of 34 past and present Bombers still subject to WADA proceedings from the club’s 2012 supplements regime.