Carlton caretaker coach David Teague has reportedly won the race to be the club’s full-time coach, with the Blues expected to make the announcement official at a press conference on Thursday.
Teague took over the side mid-season after Brendon Bolton’s departure and his arrival has coincided with a marked reversal in the Blues’ performance. After just nine games in charge of the team, Teague has overseen five wins, more than Bolton managed in his last season and a half.
Carlton have been more competitive in their losses under Teague, too, with their four defeats (against the Bulldogs, Demons, Tigers and Eagles) coming by a combined 60 points. Their last four losses under Bolton were by a combined 166.
The news that Teague has landed the Blues job comes just a day after captain Patrick Cripps gave a ringing endorsement of the 38-year-old.
“The board are doing such a thorough process that if Teaguey gets the job he’s done it in his own right and not just because the players really rate him … it will be because he’s actually a bloody good coach,” Cripps said on Tuesday.
“I know that if they get someone else then he’s going to be a really good coach too. We’ll have to see how that pans out but what Teaguey has done so far has been really impressive.”
With Teague on board and Carlton reportedly closing in on landing prized free agent Stephen Coniglio, the Blues’ future is suddenly looking promising, with Cripps lauding the potential impact the Giants midfielder would have if he did make the move south.
“Anyone would be rapt to have Stephen Coniglio come to your door. He’s a sensational player and if he did come I would be over the moon, but we’ll see how that all pans out.
“When you’re at a big club like Carlton once you do become attractive people do want to come and play for you, so that’s what I’m really excited about over the next couple of years.”
There was some slightly more sombre news at the club today, though, with reports emerging that veteran Blue Dale Thomas won’t be offered a new contract at the club. Thomas had been one of the more consistent performers at Carlton over the past couple of seasons, but it now appears there won’t be a place for the 32-year-old at the side next year.