Blues keep Barker in AFL coaching shuffle

John Barker will stay at Carlton as part of new coach Brendon Bolton’s coaching setup in 2016.

Neil Craig will head the Blues’ radically restructured coaching department, with three new assistants joining the club as they prepare to climb from the bottom of the AFL ladder.

Working under Bolton, who was announced as senior coach last month, will be Shane Watson (from North Melbourne), Dale Amos (Geelong) and Tim Clarke, who leaves his post as Richmond’s VFL coach.

Craig leaves a similar position with Essendon, while Barker slips back into an assistant post after 14 rounds as Carlton’s caretaker boss.

Bolton said he was delighted with the calibre of people secured, who have all been responsible for their own sides at some stage in their coaching careers.

“They’re all people with the right experience and right attitude to help educate and develop our players,” he said.

“One of the key attributes shared by those coming on board is their holistic approach to people and player development.

“It’s a young coaching team, being well complemented with the experience and counsel of Neil, and it’s a team who I am confident will grow with our playing list and eventually lead this football club to where we all want it to be.”

The announcement confirms a season of high turnover at the foundation AFL club, with only development and ruck coach Mathew Capuano remaining in the same coaching role from the start of the year.

Senior coach Mick Malthouse began the tumult, leaving the Blues after round eight with a 1-7 record.

Barker began the year as backline coach, became caretaker coach on Mick Malthouse’s departure and will become stoppages coach under Bolton.

The 40-year-old, who took the Blues to three wins in 14 matches this year, has already worked as forward and defensive coach at Carlton.

Assistant coach Brad Green and development coaches Michael Osborne and Luke Webster depart Carlton, as long-time Malthouse man Rob Wiley and former fitness boss David Buttifant already have done.

CARLTON’S 2015 FOOTY TEAM

Head of Football: Andrew McKay

Director of Coaching: Neil Craig

Senior Coach: Brendon Bolton

Assistant Coach (Stoppages): John Barker

Assistant Coach (Midfield): Tim Clarke

Assistant Coach (Forward): Shane Watson

Assistant Coach (Defence): Dale Amos

Development and Ruck Coach: Mathew Capuano

Physical Performance Manager: Joel Hocking

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