Jonathan Giles wasn’t really expecting to be on the move during the NAB AFL Trade Period but the 27-year-old found himself on the move again after being traded to the West Coast Eagles from Essendon in one of the most surprising moves of the week. The ruckman was traded to the Eagles along with the 62nd pick in this year’s AFL draft, with the 57th pick headed the other way to the Bombers, meaning Giles will now play for his fourth AFL club. Having turned out for Essendon, Port Adelaide and Greater Western Sydney, the Eagles have signed a player who has amassed a huge amount of experience during his career to date, although perhaps not the playing time he would have wanted.
After making the move to the Bombers last year from GWS, Giles was expected to see out the remaining 12 months of the two-year deal he signed upon his arrival at Essendon. But having failed to establish himself at the Etihad Stadium, the ruckman packed his bags again and will now be hoping to cement his place in this Eagles team in 2016. West Coast only entered the market for a ruckman after trading Callum Sinclair to the Swans in exchange for Lewis Jetta. That was a move which left the squad with two players in that position over 200cm in the shape of Nic Naitanui and Scott Lycett. Capable of mixing it up as well as weighing in with a goal, Giles could have a role to play in 2016 for his new club even if it’s only as a back-up to the current ruckmen on the Eagles roster.
Despite being tipped to make an impact in Melbourne following his move to the Bombers, it wasn’t until the final few weeks of the home-and-away season before Essendon fans were able to see Giles on the field. Having failed to break into James Hird’s team throughout the majority of the season, making just three late-season appearances wasn’t enough for the ruckman to prove he was worth hanging on to heading into 2016. While Giles has made it clear he wasn’t looking to leave Melbourne, the chance of a fresh start on the West Coast was something that the 27-year-old clearly felt he needed to take, especially at this point of his career.
While Giles isn’t expected to step straight into the starting line-up for the Eagles, head coach Adam Simpson will feel good to have more options in his ruck department. With Naitanui playing the best football of his career and looking like one of the best players in the league, never mind ruckmen, the new West Coast man will provide back-up and competition in that position. With odds at the time of writing of around 9/2 to go all the way in 2016, the Eagles now boast a squad more than capable of achieving something special next season. Now at his fourth AFL club, Giles will be looking to put down some roots and make a name for himself at the Subiaco Arena.