It seems that the Carlton Blues have done the right thing, giving caretaker coach David Teague a three-year deal, although it has yet to be made official.
Brendon Bolton got the axe after the 11th round, although it is hard to lay the entire blame for the demise of Carlton in the Toyota 2019 AFL Premiership completion on him alone.
Since Teague was given the thankless task, the Blues have won five from nine, which in recent years, seems like an exponential improvement.
Carlton have a storied history and expectations are always high. They last won a premiership in 1995, so the drought is going on a quarter of a century.
When Teague took over as the interim, after serving as Bolton’s assistant, it was thought that Carlton was looking elsewhere.
The appointment, if true, would come as something of a surprise, as Carlton football director Chris Judd expressed the club management’s view that Teague did not have the requisite experience.
The players seem to hold Teague in high esteem and the immediate response was a Round 12 win over finals-bound Brisbane. Carlton also beat Adelaide in Round 19 and while a victory over the Crows this season is not a rare event, for a languishing club such as the Blues, it was a nice accomplishment.
Brisbane, on the other hand, was a major scalp, as the 2019 Lions have lost just five times, although four of those prior loses were in the Rounds before Teague was named caretaker.
Carlton have St. Kilda and Geelong remaining. They are minor underdogs going into the game at The G.
Carlton members have been nothing if not supportive of the Blues and the attendance figures bear that out. Over the first 10 games, they averaged over 46,000, even if it is true that they share stadiums with some of the better Victorian clubs.
Other caretaker coaches to have done all right are Rhyce Shaw at North Melbourne and Brett Ratten at St. Kilda. Shaw has already been named senior coach of the Roos going forward and Ratten is looking likely for the top coaching job at St. Kilda.