Player Name: Caleb Marchbank
Current Club: GWS
Potential Club: We now know that Marchbank has selected Carlton as his preferred destination, which won’t please St Kilda supporters. GWS and the Blues have a good trading history, and when push comes to shove, the two will sort out an appropriate deal to see the young defender in Carlton colours in 2017.
The Original Price: Marchbank was the sixth pick in the 2014 AFL draft, however at the time, the consensus was the Giants had gone early for the 17-year-old. Draft expert Callum Twomey had him as a potential top-15 pick, while many others had him in the 15-25 range.
The Good: The 19-year-old is seen as one of the brightest defensive talents in the competition, but at draft time, his versatility was arguably his greatest strength. He can play anywhere on the ground and on any size opponent, giving his club the flexibility it may need to ring changes throughout matches. He reads the ball extremely well and is a smart player with ball in hand, which is why he can be an effective key defender with more size.
The Bad: So far in his junior and senior career, injuries have played a major part in stunting his progress somewhat. He missed almost the entire 2013 TAC Cup season due to injury, and then missed the national combine in 2014 because of his knee. This season, a shoulder injury has kept him out for a long time. The only other potential knock on Marchbank is that he is a little undersized to play as an out-and-out key defender.
What his club wants: It’s pretty simple; GWS wants pick five from Carlton if they are to trade their young defensive gun. They have conceded that they’ll need to sweeten the deal back the other way, however.
What he’s worth: While there’s obvious talent with Marchbank, the fact he was taken higher than he was perhaps worth at the time, and his proneness to injury early in his career means GWS won’t get a high draft pick for him alone. He has only played 24 games of senior and reserves football in two years at the club. The Blues and the Giants will have some robust discussions about Marchbank’s true worth, which could well be an early second-round pick.
What we’d pay: Pick 21-25.
Possible Trade Scenarios:
- Carlton trades its first selection overall (Pick 5) to GWS, GWS sends Caleb Marchbank and Geelong’s first selection overall, acquired via a Carlton on-trade (to be confirmed, pick in the range 15-18), to Carlton.
- Carlton trades its first selection overall (Pick 5) and its second selection overall (Pick 23) to GWS, GWS sends Caleb Marchbank, Jack Steele and its first selection overall (to be confirmed, pick in the range 15-18) to Carlton.
The verdict: Given the history between these two clubs, there’s little doubt that Marchbank will get to Carlton, where he can create a strong partnership with Jacob Weitering.
Star rating: 4/5
Marchbank will develop into an outstanding player, and will fit right in at Carlton. In the future, he can be a second/third tall defender who can run through the midfield when required.