In 2019 the AFL saw an unpredecented phenomenon. After only a single coaching sacking in the previous two seasons, four coaches left their clubs mid-year, three replaced by caretakers who would eventually be promoted to the ongoing position.
After an impressive spell in the caretaker’s role, David Teague has won the race to be appointed as Carlton’s new fulltime AFL coach.
Carlton will hold a media conference on Thursday where Teague will officially be unveiled as the man to take the club forward into a new era.
He is understood to have signed a three-year deal.
It completes a remarkable rise for the former North Melbourne and Carlton defender, who was considered virtually no chance of getting the job on a long-term basis when he replaced the sacked Brendon Bolton after round 11.
But the 38-year-old Teague exceeded all expectations by leading a young team to five wins from nine games.
He also lost no admirers in a competitive 28-point loss to high-flying Richmond last weekend.
Carlton had won just one of their first 11 games of the season under Bolton.
Teague becomes the second AFL caretaker coach to earn the role fulltime this year after North Melbourne decided that Rhyce Shaw was the best man to replace Brad Scott.
And it could well end up being three from three, with Brett Ratten now the short-priced favourite to get promoted at St Kilda, having stepped up when Alan Richardson realised his time was over.
As has been the case at Carlton, the Saints look a much more potent attacking side under Ratten.
Teague’s hopes of landing the Blues’ role fulltime role looked slim when Carlton’s football director Chris Judd said the club didn’t want to hire a coach that still had “training wheels” on.
Former Brisbane head coach and current Port Adelaide assistant Michael Voss was interviewed for the job.
But Carlton’s hot performances under Teague – plus the love the players showed towards him – put him in the box seat.
Teague played a total of 83 games across six seasons with North Melbourne and Carlton from 2001-06, winning the Blues’ best-and-fairest award in 2004.
After being delisted by Carlton in 2007 he stepped straight into a playing-coaching role with the club’s VFL affiliate.
In 2011 he moved to West Coast as an assistant coach and also spent time on the staff at St Kilda and Adelaide before being lured back to the Blues in 2017.
Carlton will be aiming to finish the season strongly when they take on St Kilda and Geelong over the next fortnight.