Bolton expected to coach Blues in AFL

The issues will come thick and fast for Brendon Bolton when he most likely becomes Carlton’s AFL coach.

The Hawthorn assistant is understood to have narrowly beaten Blues interim coach John Barker for the role.

Carlton’s coaching sub-committee made its recommendation on Monday night to the club board.

The Blues could confirm the appointment as early as Tuesday, but it will definitely happen this week.

The first question for Bolton is when he leaves the Hawks for Carlton.

Hawthorn are a fortnight away from the finals series as they chase a third straight premiership.

“I would say that if Hawthorn said `you have to stay’, then he has to stay – that’s my understanding,” Melbourne coach Paul Roos told Fox Footy’s AFL 360.

“But Hawthorn might say no, you need to move on.”

There is also a complication, with fellow Hawks assistant coach Brett Ratten on indefinite leave following the tragic death of his teenage son, Cooper.

Hawthorn and Carlton play each other in round 23, the week before the finals start.

Another pressing matter for Bolton and the Blues is making sure that star ruckman Matthew Kreuzer re-signs.

Kreuzer, who is out of contract at the end of this season, showed he is back to top form with an outstanding game in Sunday’s win over Melbourne.

Soon after the match, Barker repeated his confidence that Kreuzer would stay at the club.

But on Monday, the 2007 No.1 draft pick left Blues fans nervous when asked about his playing future beyond this season.

“It’s tough to say, but at the moment it’s just about me continuing to play football,” Kreuzer said.

“I just want to get through (the last two games). It was my main goal since I got back playing and we’ll sit down at the end of the year and work it out.”

Bolton’s stocks shot up last year when he coached the Hawks for five games as Alastair Clarkson recovered from a serious illness.

The Hawks were 5-0 under Bolton.

He would be the fifth of Clarkson’s assistants to land a senior role, following Damien Hardwick (Richmond), Leon Cameron (GWS), Adam Simpson (West Coast) and Luke Beveridge (Western Bulldogs).

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