Bolton tipped to coach Blues in AFL

Hawthorn coach Brendon Bolton is the hot tip to become Carlton’s next AFL senior coach.

The Blues’ coaching sub-committee was making its recommendation to a club board meeting on Monday afternoon.

Bolton is set to be offered the job ahead of interim Blues coach John Barker, who took over in May after Mick Malthouse’s sacking.

Barker has impressed Carlton in the role, but the Nine Network reported on Monday night that the club told him he had missed out.

The immediate issue will be when Bolton leaves the Hawks to take over at Carlton.

The two-time defending premiers are a fortnight away from another finals series.

Hawks chief executive Stuart Fox said on the weekend that their preference is for Bolton to stay with them until their season is over.

But Fox added they would handle the situation respectfully.

Complicating the issue is the indefinite leave for fellow Hawthorn assistant coach Brett Ratten, who is mourning the death of his son Cooper.

On Monday, Sydney coach John Longmire said his preference was for assistants who win senior jobs to stay at their current clubs until the season is over.

“Obviously those discussions go on with various assistant coaches when those (head) coaching positions become available, we all understand that, everyone is up front and open about those discussions,” he said.

“I would personally like to see the coaches that are involved, even if they get appointed as senior coaches, stay at their clubs.

“It’s up to every individual senior coach at every individual club to make that decision.

“If it happened here I would be really keen for that coach to stay.”

Longmire added the AFL coaches association was looking at the issue.

“I think that’s where it’s heading with the coaches association … they are certainly talking to all the clubs about it and it will get there,” he said.

“It will just take a bit of time I think.”

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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