Carlton has not lost hope of attracting Alastair Clarkson, new general manager Brian Cook is expected to probe the prime minister’s quadruple coach.
Clarkson and his manager James Henderson have said on several occasions that the great Hawthorn will take time off next year to rest and develop personally, and the Blues have left him after repeated overtures from new chairman Luke Sayers.
But sources close to the Blues coaching subcommittee say Cook, who officially joined the Blues on a three-year contract on Friday night, will now personally contact Clarkson in case he is ready to change his mind.
“Without a doubt, it will,” said an industry source. Cook did not respond to comments on Saturday.
Cook, 65, is one of the most respected and astute football administrators in the history of the game, having overseen the West Coast and later Geelong’s continued success, and Clarkson can see in him the stability that he would need to travel to Princes Park and join a club that has sacked four senior coaches since 2012.
Cook will play a leading role in the appointment of a coach and he will have a better idea of Chris Scott’s availability. Scott has a year to go on his contract with Geelong, and club insiders don’t believe he will leave. Scott is said to be excited for next season and talks about a contract extension with football department boss Simon Lloyd have started.
The Blues interviewed Michael Voss, Adam Kingsley and Daniel Giansiracusa, and the three current assistants were in awe of the handful of criteria they had to meet. Industry sources say Voss, the former Brisbane coach and now Port Adelaide assistant, and Kingsley, Damien Hardwick’s right-hand man in Richmond, top the list, just ahead of Giansiracusa, who is in Essendon.
The Blues want to appoint a coach within a fortnight, and do not even rule out making a decision by the end of next week, before the period of exchanges. Sources say Voss and Kingsley are likely to show up again, but that could depend on Clarkson’s availability.
While former Blues general manager Cain Liddle has had good business results, it was felt his weakness was dealing with the football department.