WHERE there was supposed to be a halo over the head of the Saints' prized recruit, there's a big, dark cloud. Fortunately for Jake Carlisle, there will be no axe.
After an anxious week, St Kilda was supposed to be rejoicing after finally claiming a key plank in its rebuild when trading in the 23-year-old from Essendon on Wednesday.
With the likes of Josh Bruce and Paddy McCartin prepared to take over from aging captain Nick Riewoldt in attack and the midfield in good shape with Jack Billings and Luke Dunstan joining Jack Steven and David Armitage in recent times, the athletic 199cm big man is seen as the pillar down back.
But, within hours of completing the deal, a Snapchat clip of Carlisle appearing to snort white powder while on an end-of-season trip in the US was shown on Channel Nine's A Current Affair.
Carlisle will remain the answer to the Saints needs as they attempt to embark on their march towards just their second-ever premiership, but plenty of questions will be asked of him in the coming days.
The 85-gamer was flying straight back to the country to face the music, from his new club and the league - one of which will surely force him in to spending time on the sidelines in 2016.
"We can talk about punishment, but I don't know that there would be anything more confronting for Jake Carlisle right now than facing Nick Riewoldt and our leadership group," St Kilda chief executive Matt Finnis said yesterday.
"They're absolutely filthy. They've done a lot of work to make it absolutely clear what our club stands for."
The controversy has shades of 2009 when another Bomber Andrew Lovett was traded to St Kilda but never played a game after he was charged with rape. He was later found not guilty, but not before being sacked.
Fortunately for Carlisle, he will have a chance to save his career.
"I know that in a few weeks' time when I join St Kilda, I'm going to be expected to be open and honest with my new club so want to start by confirming my error of judgment right now," Carlisle said in a statement.
"I apologise for my behaviour and stress that when I join my new club, I will do everything I can to live up to the standards and values they are building at St Kilda."
As was expected it was a hectic final day of wheeling and dealing by clubs as the trade period wrapped up. James Aish finally joined Collingwood, Ryan Bastinac headed to Brisbane, Michael Talia shifted to Sydney and Chris Yarran found his way to Richmond.
TRADE PERIOD OBSERVATIONS
And the winners were ...
Geelong (Patrick Dangerfield, far right), Scott Selwood, Lachie Henderson and Zac Smith), Collingwood (Adam Treloar, James Aish and Jeremy Howe, right) and Port Adelaide (Charlie Dixon and Jimmy Toumpas) all got what they wanted.
And the losers …
Gold Coast lost Harley Bennell (Fremantle), Smith and Dixon, while North Melbourne, the Western Bulldogs and Hawthorn were all snubbed by Aish, Matthew Lobbe and Carlisle (which may not have been a bad thing), respectively.
Going, going ... staying
GWS lost Tomas Bugg (Melbourne), Adam Treloar (Collingwood), Lachie Plowman, Jed Lamb, Andrew Phillips, Liam Sumner (Carlton), Jacob Townsend (Richmond), and Curtly Hampton (Adelaide), but managed to hold on to Cam McCarthy and Adam Tomlinson ... for now.
Looking to the future
By gaining the prized No.3 draft pick from Gold Coast and No.7 from GWS, Melbourne has set itself up to possibly recruit both midfield gun Darcy Parish and key forward Charlie Curnow (to help Jesse Hogan). As well as four more GWS Giants, Carlton gained four first-round draft picks (1, 8, 11 and 19).
Best of a bad situation
Brisbane lost Aish, Matthew Leuenberger (Essendon) and Jack Redden (West Coast), but gained ready-made players Josh Walker, Jarrad Jansen, Ryan Bastinac, and Tom Bell, and draft picks 38, 39, 40, 41, and 42, which will surely go towards the Lions acquiring their Academy products Eric Hipwood and Ben Keays.
My kingdom for a forward
Freo has a history of tall forwards turning their noses up at it, and when one does put his hand up (Cam McCarthy) the Dockers can't have him due to that pesky contract he signed with the Giants last year.
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