JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Jarrad Waite should swap navy blue for purple

Digitally altered image.

Digitally altered image.

There wasn't much talent to work with in the Carlton twos when Ross Lyon was coaching the club's reserves more than a decade ago. One kid, however, showed raw potential. He was an exceptional specimen, with a jack in the box leap, size and speed. He could clunk a mark, too.

Jarrad Waite duly became a 150-gamer, and one of Carlton's most influential and watchable players. He's a success by the basic measures. Yet, whereas Nick Maxwell could not have extracted a millimetre more from himself, Waite remains, at 31, an unfulfilled talent and consumate coodabeen.

When Nick Riewoldt shreds a defence, we marvel at his ageless, metronomic consistency. When Waite does it, we wonder when it will happen next, and think wistfully about what this bloke might have achieved but for injury and other failings. Perversely, the reaction to his best games, such as Friday night, is a mixture of wonder and career condemnation.

Whatever Waite does in the remains of his enigmatic career will have little impact on Carlton's premiership prospects. The Blues, despite the North upset, are long past midnight on Mick Malthouse's premiership clock – they've awoken in fright at 6am – and have no choice but to embrace that word that has never been popular at Visy Park: rebuild.

Meanwhile, far away on the other side of the continent, Fremantle is trying to win a flag before the clock strikes 12 and the older players turn into mice. As their inexplicable loss to St Kilda shows, the Dockers have a need for a second key forward, just as the Hawks lacked a power defender in 2011 and 2012. Matthew Pavlich still needs a hand. Scott Gumbleton, hired cheaply as a speculative key forward, hasn't been fit and able.

Waite, as he considers his next move, should have his manager on the phone to his old reserves coach. If Waite signed with the Dockers, he might be the difference between a podium finish and that first gold medal. Even if they win the flag this year, he's still a logical acquisition – just as long as the window is ajar, and until Michael Apeness, Fremantle's 200-centimetre key forward prospect, is ready.

Waite can be Fremantle's answer to Brian Lake.

''It's not dissimilar to Lake,'' said one Victorian club's list manager, when considering Waite exchanging navy blue for purple. ''It's an absolute free kick (for Fremantle). He's a free agent.''

While Lake's career at the Bulldogs was more productive and consistent than Waite's at Visy Park, there are obvious parallels. Lake was likewise injury-prone, with temperamental tendencies (ask Drew Petrie). He could frustrate his coaches (ask Rodney Eade) and wasn't bankable. But he was a natural and if he could help win the odd game in his hobbled dotage, he wouldn't play long enough to see his team play on grand final day.

Hawthorn had a specific need that Lake filled. The Hawks, thus, enabled him to complete his career as a Norm Smith medallist and premiership player.

Hawthorn lacked a tall back, Freo is a big forward short. The Hawks offered Lake a longer contract, and fewer dollars. Waite, who has been well remunerated (estimated $500,000), should consider the same type of arrangement – a two-year deal, on less money, perhaps with incentives.

A change of club revitalised Lake, who had become stale and seemingly sloppy at Whitten Oval. He sought to win the respect of his new, hardened teammates and worked harder, improving his fitness.

If Waite ticks the boxes for Fremantle, and vice versa, the major difference between Waite and Lake is that Carlton will not gain the draft return that the Bulldogs garnered by trading him. Lake was under contract. Waite is coming out. So whereas the Dogs did a pick swap and drafted Nathan Hrovat and traded for Toby Stevens with the Lake picks, the Blues will get squat for Waite.

They will save themselves money, however, and will be able to plan every week without wondering whether Waite is available. The case for shedding Waite is like the business argument that was once mounted in favour of the (now deceased) carbon tax – that it provides certainty. Waite has plenty of positives, but the only certainty with him is that he will not play 20 games.

Carlton is yet to re-contract Levi Casboult, who has the largest gap between marking and kicking ability of any current AFL player. Lachie Henderson is much better player who, ideally, would be the second target. Carlton will have to find a key forward, regardless of whether Waite stays. The Blues' decision to delay contract negotiations with Waite was sensible – why rush to re-sign a player whom Mick Malthouse had consigned to the VFL?

If Waite stays, the likelihood is that he will be on significantly reduced money at Carlton, with incentives for games played. The Blues are mindful of both Waite's history and their future.

Carlton supporters will note that Waite's history with the club includes the significant contribution of his late father, Vin, a premiership player. For those who retain a flicker of romance about the game – and professional sporting culture has reduced the sentimental folk – the idea of Waite in purple may be jarring.

But it's no more so that the sight of Heath Shaw in a GWS jumper. Or, worse, Josh Kennedy – third generation of Hawthorn royalty – winning a premiership against Hawthorn. These days, fans have adjusted their thinking to the point that it's a reprieve that Shaw didn't end up at Carlton, or Kennedy at Essendon. It's a mercy that the son of a gun goes to an interstate team in a funny jumper.

Waite wouldn't look so bad in purple.

1 comment so far

  • If i was Carlton, i'd sign Waite for another year and then trade him.

    Commenter
    razor
    Date and time
    July 21, 2014, 9:33AM

    Make a comment

    You are logged in as [Logout]

    All information entered below may be published.

    Error: Please enter your screen name.

    Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

    Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

    Error: Please enter your comment.

    Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

    Post to

    You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

    Thank you

    Your comment has been submitted for approval.

    Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

    AFL 2015

    Round 1
    Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
    CAR 78vs RIC 105 Report Stats
    Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
    MEL 115vs GCF 89 Stats
    SYD 72vs ESS 60 Stats
    BRI 74vs COL 86 Stats
    WBU 97vs WCE 87 Stats
    Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
    STK 78vs GWS 87 Stats
    ADE 140vs NTH 63 Stats
    FRE 75vs PTA 68 Stats
    Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
    HAW 123vs GEE 61 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 2
    Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
    WCE 131vs CAR 62 Stats
    Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
    RIC 66vs WBU 85 Report Stats
    GWS 101vs MEL 56 Stats
    COL 63vs ADE 90 Report Stats
    GCF 76vs STK 104 Stats
    PTA 44vs SYD 92 Stats
    Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
    GEE 60vs FRE 104 Stats
    ESS 78vs HAW 76 Stats
    NTH 133vs BRI 51 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 3
    Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
    COL 140vs STK 66 Stats
    Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
    CAR 84vs ESS 105 Stats
    ADE 80vs MEL 55 Stats
    SYD 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
    NTH 105vs PTA 113 Stats
    BRI 58vs RIC 137 Stats
    Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
    HAW 127vs WBU 57 Stats
    GEE 105vs GCF 96 Stats
    WCE 81vs FRE 111 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 4
    Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
    RIC 51vs MEL 83 Stats
    Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
    STK 81vs CAR 121 Report Report Stats
    ESS 49vs COL 69 Report Stats
    GWS 119vs GCF 53 Stats
    PTA 99vs HAW 91 Stats
    FRE 74vs SYD 60 Stats
    Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
    BRI 65vs WCE 118 Stats
    GEE 67vs NTH 83 Stats
    WBU 125vs ADE 68 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 5
    Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
    CAR 45vs COL 120 Stats
    Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
    RIC 76vs GEE 85 Stats
    SYD 73vs WBU 77 Stats
    GCF 118vs BRI 54 Stats
    NTH 70vs HAW 130 Stats
    WCE 120vs GWS 33 Stats
    Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
    MEL 50vs FRE 118 Stats
    STK 80vs ESS 82 Stats
    ADE 91vs PTA 115 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 6
    Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
    COL 59vs GEE 100 Stats
    Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
    NTH 109vs RIC 74 Stats
    WBU 87vs STK 94 Stats
    GWS 108vs HAW 98 Stats
    GCF 78vs ADE 119 Stats
    MEL 50vs SYD 88 Stats
    FRE 80vs ESS 52 Stats
    Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
    CAR 75vs BRI 84 Report Stats
    PTA 68vs WCE 78 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 7
    Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
    ESS 82vs NTH 93 Stats
    Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
    ADE 119vs STK 73 Stats
    HAW 155vs MEL 50 Stats
    CAR 57vs GWS 135 Stats
    SYD 120vs GEE 77 Stats
    WCE 135vs GCF 43 Stats
    Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
    WBU 88vs FRE 101 Stats
    RIC 105vs COL 100 Report Stats
    BRI 102vs PTA 65 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 8
    Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
    GEE 140vs CAR 63 Report Stats
    Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
    STK 78vs WCE 131 Report Stats
    GWS 108vs ADE 84 Report Stats
    GCF 63vs COL 132 Report Stats
    HAW 69vs SYD 73 Report Stats
    FRE 115vs NTH 42 Report Stats
    Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
    ESS 136vs BRI 78 Report Stats
    MEL 103vs WBU 64 Report Stats
    PTA 43vs RIC 76 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 9
    Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
    SYD 122vs CAR 62 Report Stats
    Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
    HAW 93vs GCF 40 Report Stats
    MEL 54vs PTA 115 Report Stats
    WBU 113vs GWS 68 Report Stats
    RIC 72vs ESS 59 Report Stats
    ADE 57vs FRE 68 Report Stats
    Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
    BRI 86vs STK 108 Report Stats
    COL 112vs NTH 95 Report Stats
    WCE 120vs GEE 64 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 10
    Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
    FRE 70vs RIC 97 Report Stats
    Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
    CAR 90vs ADE 99 Report Stats
    GCF 41vs SYD 93 Report Stats
    ESS 53vs GEE 122 Report Stats
    PTA 100vs WBU 62 Report Stats
    Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
    GWS 97vs BRI 67 Report Stats
    NTH 85vs WCE 75 Report Stats
    STK 69vs HAW 132 Report Stats
    Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
    MEL 85vs COL 110 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 11
    Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
    PTA 69vs GEE 92 Report Stats
    Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
    GCF 46vs FRE 53 Report Stats
    WCE 96vs ESS 46 Report Stats
    NTH 75vs SYD 91 Report Report Stats
    Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
    COL 119vs GWS 77 Report Stats
    STK 85vs MEL 83 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 12
    Thu, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
    ADE 85vs HAW 114 Report Stats
    Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
    RIC 70vs WCE 90 Report Stats
    Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
    CAR 110vs PTA 106 Report Stats
    GWS 61vs NTH 117 Report Stats
    WBU 146vs BRI 74 Report Stats
    Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
    GEE 89vs MEL 113 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 13
    Thu, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
    FRE 80vs COL 73 Report Stats
    Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
    SYD 77vs RIC 95 Report Stats
    Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
    HAW 114vs ESS 76 Report Stats
    BRI 69vs ADE 82 Report Stats
    STK 56vs WBU 62 Report Stats
    Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
    CAR 103vs GCF 69 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 14
    Thu, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
    SYD 94vs PTA 84 Report Stats
    Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
    COL 91vs HAW 101 Report Stats
    Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
    RIC 78vs GWS 69 Report Stats
    GCF 125vs NTH 70 Report Stats
    WBU 64vs CAR 53 Report Stats
    MEL 60vs WCE 114 Report Stats
    Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
    ESS 52vs STK 162 Stats
    ADE vs GEE 15:20Adelaide Oval
    FRE 84vs BRI 48 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 15
    Thu, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
    PTA 66vs COL 63 Report Stats
    Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
    RIC 71vs CAR 41 Report Stats
    Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
    ESS 69vs MEL 60 Report Stats
    WBU 95vs GCF 73 Report Stats
    NTH 120vs GEE 79 Report Stats
    WCE 147vs ADE 91 Report Stats
    Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
    GWS 84vs STK 49 Report Stats
    HAW 115vs FRE 43 Report Stats
    BRI 49vs SYD 70 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 16
    Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
    NTH 93vs ESS 68 Report Stats
    Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
    GEE 72vs WBU 64 Report Stats
    GCF 79vs GWS 94 Report Stats
    COL 56vs WCE 87 Report Stats
    SYD 57vs HAW 146 Report Stats
    FRE 95vs CAR 53 Report Stats
    Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
    MEL 60vs BRI 36 Report Stats
    PTA 113vs ADE 116 Report Stats
    STK 73vs RIC 89 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 17
    Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
    CAR 35vs HAW 173 Report Stats
    Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
    GWS 42vs GEE 69 Stats
    ADE 125vs GCF 80 Stats
    RIC 78vs FRE 82 Stats
    ESS 116vs PTA 129 Stats
    BRI 38vs NTH 110 Report Stats
    Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
    WBU 104vs COL 86 Report Stats
    MEL 46vs STK 83 Report Stats
    WCE 103vs SYD 51 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 18
    Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
    HAW 53vs RIC 71 Report Stats
    Sat, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
    GEE 113vs BRI 57 Stats
    COL 54vs MEL 91 Stats
    SYD 117vs ADE 65 Stats
    CAR 54vs NTH 118 Stats
    GCF 83vs WCE 83 Stats
    Sun, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
    PTA 112vs STK 49 Report Stats
    ESS 40vs WBU 127 Stats
    FRE 84vs GWS 63 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 19
    Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
    ADE ($2.15)vs RIC ($1.70) 19:50Adelaide Oval
    Sat, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
    COL ($1.23)vs CAR ($4.15) 13:45MCG
    WBU ($1.73)vs PTA ($2.10) 14:10ES
    BRI ($2.45)vs GCF ($1.55) 16:35G
    GEE ($2.15)vs SYD ($1.70) 19:20SS
    WCE ($2.20)vs HAW ($1.67) 19:40Domain Stadium
    Sun, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
    MEL ($3.80)vs NTH ($1.27) 13:10MCG
    GWS ($1.33)vs ESS ($3.35) 15:20Spotless Stadium
    STK ($3.70)vs FRE ($1.28) 16:40ES
    View All Fixtures
    Round 20
    Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
    SYD ($1.25)vs COL ($3.70) 19:50SCG
    Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
    ESS ($2.50)vs ADE ($1.50) 13:45ES
    NTH ($1.28)vs STK ($3.50) 14:10BA
    PTA ($1.25)vs GWS ($3.70) 16:35Adelaide Oval
    GEE ($4.30)vs HAW ($1.20) 19:20MCG
    BRI ($1.70)vs CAR ($2.10) 19:20G
    Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
    RIC ($1.15)vs GCF ($5.00) 13:10MCG
    WBU ($1.33)vs MEL ($3.15) 15:20ES
    FRE ($1.87)vs WCE ($1.87) 16:40Domain Stadium
    View All Fixtures
    Round 21
    Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
    HAW ($1.18)vs PTA ($4.60) 19:50ES
    Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
    COL ($2.35)vs RIC ($1.55) 13:45MCG
    GWS ($3.50)vs SYD ($1.28) 14:10Spotless Stadium
    GCF ($1.40)vs ESS ($2.95) 16:35MS
    STK ($2.80)vs GEE ($1.40) 19:20ES
    ADE ($1.08)vs BRI ($6.75) 19:40Adelaide Oval
    Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
    NTH ($2.00)vs FRE ($1.75) 13:10ES
    CAR ($2.25)vs MEL ($1.60) 15:20MCG
    WCE ($1.18)vs WBU ($4.60) 16:40Domain Stadium
    View All Fixtures
    Round 22
    Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
    GEE ($1.50)vs COL ($2.50) 19:50MCG
    Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
    GWS ($1.22)vs CAR ($3.70) 13:45Spotless Stadium
    HAW ($1.01)vs BRI ($13.00) 14:10AS
    NTH ($1.70)vs WBU ($2.10) 16:35ES
    ESS ($5.00)vs RIC ($1.15) 19:20MCG
    GCF ($2.50)vs PTA ($1.50) 19:20MS
    Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
    ADE ($2.95)vs WCE ($1.38) 13:10Adelaide Oval
    STK ($3.80)vs SYD ($1.25) 15:20ES
    FRE ($1.07)vs MEL ($7.50) 16:40Domain Stadium
    View All Fixtures
    Round 23
    Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
    COL ($1.50)vs ESS ($2.50) 00:00MCG
    RIC ($1.70)vs NTH ($2.10) 00:00ES
    HAW ($1.01)vs CAR ($13.00) 00:00MCG
    GEE ($1.50)vs ADE ($2.50) 00:00SS
    SYD ($1.05)vs GCF ($8.00) 00:00SCG
    MEL ($1.87)vs GWS ($1.87) 00:00ES
    BRI ($3.05)vs WBU ($1.35) 00:00G
    PTA ($2.15)vs FRE ($1.65) 00:30Adelaide Oval
    WCE ($1.06)vs STK ($8.00) 02:00Domain Stadium
    View All Fixtures
    AFL 2015
    Overall standings
    Team P W L D % Pts
    Fremantle 17 15 2 0 127.06 60
    West Coast Eagles 17 13 3 1 154.43 54
    Hawthorn 17 12 5 0 164.23 48
    Sydney Swans 17 12 5 0 115.86 48
    Western Bulldogs 17 11 6 0 113.12 44
    Richmond 17 11 6 0 112.43 44
    North Melbourne 17 10 7 0 107.19 40
    Geelong Cats 16 9 7 0 102.42 38
    View all
     

    Follow Us on Facebook

    Featured advertisers