Saints struggle to satisfy AFL Bombers

St Kilda are under pressure to find a winning combination of draft picks if they are to land wantaway Essendon tall Jake Carlisle after Hawthorn launched a stunning play for the in-demand defender.

With deals for other senior figures stalled or being negotiated in the shadows, the battle for Carlisle between the AFL’s behemoth and pygmy clubs kept all the trade attention on Friday.

On Thursday, the Bombers said they were dealing only with the premiers after Hawthorn suggested they would be willing to part with two low first-round draft picks for Carlisle.

Hawthorn made good on their offer on Friday morning, trading Jed Anderson to North Melbourne with an exchange of picks that gave them pick No.15, which they will offer along with pick No.18.

The Saints responded, saying the 24-year-old only wanted to play for Alan Richardson’s side.

St Kilda’s chief operating officer Ameet Bains said the club had tabled an offer to the Bombers which they believed was agreeable.

“I’ve spent much of the day with Jake Carlisle’s manager and can absolutely confirm that Jake’s sole focus remains playing for the Saints in 2016,” Bains said.

“We have Jake and his management’s support for our proposal which we all believe is fair and reasonable and would achieve a satisfactory outcome for all involved.”

That proposal – which sends the coveted pick No.5 to Essendon and asks for Carlisle and two second-round picks in reply – was reportedly dismissed by the Bombers.

Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson piled the pressure on the Saints earlier in the day when he unveiled his international rules squad, saying he was ready to pounce if St Kilda couldn’t satisfy the Bombers’ demands for Carlisle.

“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.”

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.

North Melbourne’s list manager Cameron Joyce said the club was happy to secure his signature, given the wide interest in the young midfielder.

“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,” Joyce said.

In other trades on Friday, GWS lost defender Curtly Hampton to Adelaide and midfielder Jacob Townsend to Richmond but secured free agent Dawson Simpson from Geelong.

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