Posted: 16 November, 2016 by AAP

Carlisle Relishes Return To AFL

Saints defender missed 2016 due to year-long doping ban

Tags: AFL, St Kilda Saints, Saints

(Image: AFL Media)

Jobe Watson's AFL Brownlow Medal fate is another bitter reminder for Jake Carlisle about what the Essendon supplements debacle has cost the banned players.

Carlisle sent his old captain a text message after Tuesday's landmark AFL Commission decision to strip Watson of the 2012 Brownlow and hand it to Trent Cotchin and Sam Mitchell.

Watson and Carlisle were among 34 current and past Essendon players who served doping bans as a result of the club's disastrous 2012 supplements regime.

Now at St Kilda, Carlisle said on Wednesday he was determined to put the saga behind him.

But the tall defender added that it stung to see Watson lose his Brownlow.

"It was tough - Jobey, he's an excellent man," Carlisle said.

"I sent him a message, just to let him know I'm thinking of him.

"What's done is done, there's not much we can do.

"I do feel sorry for him, but at the same time I'm excited for him to get out there next year and hopefully have a really good year, as (for) all the boys as well."

Carlisle was asked if he felt anger towards Essendon about what happened.

"Each to their own, but obviously it was tough, what we went through," he said.

"Obviously I'm at a new club now and it's very exciting ... to hopefully play finals next year and go from there.

"But I've moved on from all that."

The last year has been particularly tumultuous for Carlisle.

Within hours of his trade to the Saints in October 2015, video emerged of him snorting a white substance.

He received a strike under the AFL illicit drugs policy.

Carlisle originally also was banned for two matches, but the Saints announced in September that was served concurrently with his doping suspension.

He also had hip surgery.

"I feel like I have a bit to offer to the footy club and I owe a lot, with everything that's happened as well," he said.

"So I just can't wait to get out there and put my best foot forward."

Carlisle, who worked in the construction industry during the year out of football, will return to full training next month and expects to be available for St Kilda's first pre-season match.

"I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders," he said.

"It (football) means a lot - it's my life at the moment.

"I just felt like the last few years were really tough and a lot of excuses to be made with what's happened. 

"Now I feel like I can just put everything into footy."

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Tags: AFL, St Kilda Saints, Saints

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