‘I don’t like playing on him’: Carlisle’s praise for King
St Kilda defender Jake Carlisle says he had no interest in seeking a trade from the club last season as he eyes a full recovery from his debilitating back problems.
Carlisle, 28, had surgery on his back in March and was underdone as he made a quicker-than-expected return to the side in Round 17.
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The former Bomber had been linked to a move to another club as part of the Saints' significant overhaul in the exchange period which netted it Bradley Hill, Zak Jones, Dougal Howard, Paddy Ryder and Dan Butler.
But Carlisle opened up on his situation for the first time on Monday, saying he had no plans to seek a third club.
"I was never going anywhere," Carlisle said.
"I just wanted to obviously get through the year because it had been tough and (I wanted to) sort of reset this off season and go again.
"All has been positive so far this year, which is good. I don't worry about the outside noise anymore.
"I was happy to be here and obviously trigger my contract (extension) last year."
Feeling much stronger and less restricted this summer, Carlisle is set to partner former Power backman Howard and Callum Wilkie in the defensive half this season.
But it's at the other end of the ground that the spotlight will quickly fall on gun youngster Max King after overcoming a knee injury late last season.
Carlisle said the No. 4 draft pick, who is expected to debut in the season-opener against North Melbourne, had been a handful in match simulation.
"He is fit, he is strong and I think his knee has been pretty good and I think his ankle from last year has been really good," Carlisle said
"I don't like playing on him at training so it's pretty good handing him over (to other teammates) at times because he is going to be a pretty good player."
Former Swan Daniel Hannebery is another who will be out to make an early impression after leg problems marred his first season as a Saint last year.
Carlisle said the ball magnet was in great shape.
"He is looking good, looks like he has trimmed down a bit, and he has got a tan,"
"He is contributing with his voice and experience and it is good to have him out there and hopefully come Round 1 he can play all 22 games."