Carlton coach Mick Malthouse. Photo: Getty Images
Mick Malthouse will add a freshly retired footballer to Carlton's coaching panel next season and charge the new appointee with running the midfield.
The revised set-up, in Malthouse's second season with the Blues, has been designed as much to liberate Rob Wiley in his job as director of coaching as to inject youth into the club's ranks, but CEO Greg Swann told Fairfax Media: ''We will only be adding. Not replacing.''
At 60 years of age, Malthouse is set to take the mantle from Kevin Sheedy as the oldest senior AFL coach in 2014. Of his existing line coaches, John Barker (forward coach) is the most recently retired AFL player, the ex-Fitzroy, Brisbane and Hawthorn big man retiring in 2006.
Former Collingwood captain Gavin Brown, who last played in 2000, is Carlton's defensive coach, while 1980 Richmond premiership player Wiley has juggled midfield coaching with overseeing all assistants, and the coaching and development programs for the Blues this year.
Ex-Demon Brad Green, who retired from playing in 2012, joined Carlton for this season and is a midfield development coach who has reported to Malthouse's right-hand man Wiley.
Swann said the club's specifications for the new head midfield coach were clear: ''Someone keen to make their mark, and someone who is straight out of the game who knows all the pressures and all the things that go with playing league footy in this day and age.''
It is unclear whether Carlton has designs on a player who has retired this year - or who may retire this month.
Brisbane Brownlow medallist Simon Black would be hot property should he chose not to play on, but the recent decisions of Lenny Hayes and Daniel Giansiracusa to sign up again have narrowed the pool of new aspiring coaches.
Swann said the club had a shortlist of targets, but would not expand other than to say Carlton did not believe ex-Geelong premiership captain Cameron Ling was available.
Carlton's coaching panel was cut significantly on Malthouse's arrival, shrinking from a group of 10 in 2012 under Brett Ratten, to seven this year.
Dual premiership player Matthew Capuano, who notched 107 games with North Melbourne and St Kilda (1994-2003), is expected to remain ruck coach next year, and it is believed ex-Docker Luke Webster will continue as VFL and development coach.
Carlton legend Robert Walls questioned the club's revamped coaching structure under Malthouse in his Fairfax Media column three weeks ago.
While Carlton is featuring this September only because of Essendon's disqualification, for Malthouse it marks the 20th campaign where he has directed a VFL/AFL team to finals.
In his first season at Carlton, Malthouse has also made history by becoming the first coach to take four clubs to finals.