Blues on verge of naming new AFL coach

Carlton should announce their new AFL coach by the end of the week, with Hawthorn assistant Brendon Bolton favoured over John Barker.

The Blues want to stick to their timetable of announcing the new coach by the end of August.

“Certainly we’re looking to do that,” Carlton football boss Andrew McKay told Triple M on Sunday.

“We’re confident we’ll be able to get that in before the end of the week.”

Carlton were the first club in the coaching market after sacking Mick Malthouse after round eight.

Adelaide coach Phil Walsh tragically died in early July and last week Essendon cut ties with James Hird.

Bolton’s stocks rose considerably last year when he filled in as senior coach while Alastair Clarkson recovered from a serious illness.

The Hawks were 5-0 while Bolton was in charge.

But Barker has also impressed as interim Carlton coach since taking over from Malthouse, despite the Blues continuing to struggle.

“There have been a number of people internally who have been pleasantly surprised with what John’s done,” McKay said.

“He’s not being judged on those results – it’s the way he goes about it.”

Also on Sunday, McKay confirmed the Blues would want a first-round draft pick in a trade for Lachie Henderson.

Carlton controversially cut Henderson last week after he told them he wanted to join another club, understood to be Geelong.

Asked if they would want a first-round pick in return for losing the tall utility, McKay said “absolutely – and some, I reckon.

“Lachie’s a very good player and it’s unfortunate he’s had an average season, form-wise.

“But I think he had a fair bit on his mind all season that really affected his game.

“He’s a very good player when he’s up and about, so we’re expecting a fair bit for Lachie.”

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