Carlton’s search for a replacement for Mick Malthouse is well underway but the Blues will take their time appointing a new senior coach.
A fortnight after the club announced the formulation of a five-man selection panel to assess the field of coaching candidates, chief executive Steven Trigg revealed that progress had already been made.
“We’ve started to make some calls and had what I would call fireside chats, just trying to go through a process of discovery at the moment,” Trigg said on Tuesday.
“Within reason we feel like we’ve got plenty of time. I don’t want to overplay that, but I feel like we’ve got some time at hand to make some good, clear, reasoned, timely assessments but, at the moment, it’s a process of discovery.”
Trigg is chairman of the panel, which also includes triple Carlton premiership player and former St Kilda coach Ken Sheldon, Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou, retired dual Brownlow medallist Chris Judd and recruitment specialist David Campbell.
Caretaker coach John Barker is one of the candidates for the job having guided the much-improved Blues to two wins and two competitive losses since taking over from Malthouse, who was sacked after the heavy round eight defeat against Geelong.
Trigg said that the panel was still some way off from trimming the field down to a short list, but he commended Barker for the way he has rejuvenated the Blues, whose season had threatened to spiral out of control.
“He is doing a fantastic job at the moment,” he said.
“When the circumstances are as they were and you have a change like that, it can be a difficult challenge.
“I think John and his entire coaching team have handled it well. Regardless of whether it’s been a win or a loss, I just think the way that they’ve gone about it has been first class.”
Carlton’s new coach, whoever it may be, will be keen to have Lachie Henderson at his disposal and list manager Stephen Silvagni expressed confidence that the club was edging closer to re-signing the important tall.
“We’re comfortable with where things sit at the minute,” Silvagni said. “We met probably a week to 10 days ago so that was our last conversation. “There were some positive signs there.”