Hawks release Bolton early in AFL

Hawthorn will let Brendon Bolton leave this week so he can start his AFL senior coaching career at Carlton.

The Hawks have announced Bolton will hand over to development coach Damian Carroll.

Carlton confirmed earlier on Tuesday Bolton as their new coach.

The Hawks assistant narrowly beat Blues interim coach John Barker for the role.

Hawthorn chief executive Stuart Fox said they spoke to Bolton and Carlton about the timing of the coach’s move.

“In considering the Hawks’ upcoming finals campaign, we have consulted with both Brendon and Carlton and agreed upon a transition period to take place over the next three days,” Fox said in a club statement.

“This will allow time for Brendon to hand over his duties to Damian Carroll before turning his focus to his new challenge.

“Understandably, Brendon is eager to begin in his new role and we don’t believe it would be feasible for him to split his focus across Carlton and our upcoming finals series.

“We have a number of capable coaches within the club who can step in over the next two weeks and beyond.”

Bolton will be the fifth of Alastair Clarkson’s assistants to become a senior coach at a rival club, following Damien Hardwick (Richmond), Leon Cameron (GWS), Adam Simpson (West Coast) and Luke Beveridge (Western Bulldogs).

“In his time at Hawthorn, Brendon has displayed a fantastic ability to build strong relationships with the playing and coaching group and his teaching background enables him to develop players,” Clarkson said.

“He is well-placed for the transition into senior coaching, which is thoroughly deserved on the back of an impressive coaching apprenticeship.

“We would like to thank him for his contribution to Hawthorn and wish Brendon and his wife Louisa and their children Ned and Rosie well.”

Bolton will front a Carlton media conference this afternoon with club president Mark LoGiudice and chief executive Steven Trigg.

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