Mark Riley. Photo: Pat Scala
MARK Riley is set to replace new Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley on the Gold Coast coaching panel following the Carlton assistant's exit from the Blues.
Carlton late yesterday released a statement confirming that Riley, a close ally of Brett Ratten throughout Ratten's five-year stint as coach, would be leaving after his position was rendered ''redundant''.
The Suns have a vacancy opened up by Hinkley securing the Port coaching job. The Suns have hired the man Hinkley replaces at Alberton, Matthew Primus, who will be a ruck and midfield coach.
Riley has a relationship with Suns coach Guy McKenna, both men having coached WAFL club Claremont (Riley to a premiership) before becoming assistants in the AFL. He is believed to be about to finalise a deal with the Suns.
Riley, a former Fremantle and Melbourne assistant and caretaker senior coach at Melbourne (2007), had a contract for 2013 with Carlton. He is believed to have reached a confidential settlement with the Blues, who have already turned more than four assistants from Ratten's 2011 coaching panel, with Alan Richardson (now Port Adelaide), Darren Harris and Paul Williams also leaving.
''The new coaching structure to be implemented in 2013 has made the assistant coaching position held by Mark Riley redundant,'' Carlton said in a statement.
Club general manager, football operations, Andrew McKay, said: ''We have spoken to Mark in relation to the new coaching structure and the changing roles … and as a result of his position being made redundant, Mark has been in discussions with other AFL clubs regarding his future.
''Mark has tremendous experience through his time in football and we certainly appreciate the contributions he has made to the Carlton Football Club over the last five years.''