15/04/2024

David Teague with Charlie Curnow after their big win against St Kilda. Image: carltonfc.com.au

Carlton will unveil their second debutant of the season in Brodie Kemp as David Teague reveals support from Damien Hardwick as speculation over his future intensifies.

Carlton will unveil Brodie Kemp, their second debutant of the season as coach David Teague says he’s coping “Ok” as speculation and chatter around his future and continues to mount.

The Carlton board will meet on Thursday evening where the findings of the external review of the club’s football department, commissioned by incoming president Luke Sayers, will be tabled and the findings will be discussed.

It’s been a challenging period at Carlton with so much upheaval and noise, Teague said that the club has struggled to maintain a ” physiologically safe environment” for players and coaches alike.

Speaking to the media on Thursday, Teague revealed that several senior coaches around the league have reached out to him to offer support and advice as the Carlton board is set to decide on his coaching future.

Triple premiership coach Damien Hardwick was one of the coaches to reach out to Teague, imparting a message of strength and hope that the Blues back him in much like Richmond backed him in at the end of 2016.

“Damien Hardwick reached out to me, and told me about Richmond’s courage to back him in,” Teague said

 “I’m really hopeful that our club back me in, and have the courage to stick to the course and finish what we started.

Teague is contracted for season 2022, said he was comfortable with the relationships he has with his players, even if it involves having challenging conversations with them when times arise.

He remained steadfast in his belief and ability to coach the team beyond this season, throwing down the challenge to the board, who will ultimately decide his fate, to back him in and back his belief and direction.

“I’ve said all along, I really believe in what we’re doing. I believe in this playing group and where we’re going. The reassurance to have someone like ‘Dimma’ to reach out and to understand what I’m going through, it’s really nice and comforting.”

“They’re going to get the review tonight, so I dare so they’ll need a bit of time to ponder that. But I’m planning to coach out the season and that’s what I’ll do. I’ll do that to the best of my ability and with the support of the guys around me.

“I’m really confident that I’m the guy to take this club forward. I believe in myself and I believe in the people here and the players.”

Teague’s record has slipped to 21-27 as Carlton has fallen out of finals contention this year. While Teague admitted that his game-plan was loose defensively and needed some tweaking, particularly around stoppages, he is looking forward to pre-season to fix it, he argued that the progression

“When I took over, I think we’d won four of 44. Now we’re 21 of our last 48. In terms of progression, I think that’s probably normal. Would we love to have won more? Yes. Would we love to have been more consistent throughout games in different areas? Yes. But it’s a learning curve and it’s a journey and we’re on that. I’ve said all along, I’m really comfortable with where it’s going.

“To perform at your best, you need a psychologically safe environment. Right now, that’s a challenge for us with everything that’s going on. I really commend all of the players and staff with the way they keep fronting up and bringing great effort in an environment which is a bit challenging.

“That’s what the AFL throws at you, but we’ll keep turning up and focusing on what we can control and being our best.”

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The Blues will be without key pillars at both ends of the ground with both Liam Jones and Harry McKay ruled out for the remaining two games of the season with knee and shoulder injuries respectively.

Mitch McGovern is likely to return to the senior side fir the first time since injuring his hamstring in round 7. the forward kicked 6 goals in a scratch match on the weekend. The Blues will also unveil Brodie Kemp who will be just Carlton’s second debutant this year. Selected at pick 17 in the 2019 draft, Kemp didn’t play in his first season as he was recovering from an ACL injury and suffered an ankle injury in pre-season which saw another extended stint on the sidelines.

His inclusion comes in a week where former Capitan Marc Murphy will play his 300th and final game. Teague said it had been an emotional week for the club with news of Sam Docherty’s revelation that he has to undergo chemotherapy for a testicular cancer recurrence and Eddie Betts’ emotional interview on Fox Footy about the effects of racism rearing its head again in the AFL.

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