Carlton assistant John Barker will get the chance to further develop his senior coaching credentials after being appointed to work alongside senior coach Brendon Bolton as head of strategy and performance in the wake of Neil Craig’s departure as coaching director.
In his new role, Barker will drive the football program’s strategic direction and manage the department’s growth areas.
The 42-year-old assistant, who played 168 games with Hawthorn, remained at the Blues for 2018 after narrowly failing to land the senior coaching position at the Gold Coast that went to Stuart Dew in October.
Barker was stoppages coach in 2017 under Bolton, having worked in a range of line coaching positions at the club since 2011 and serving as an interim coach at the Blues at the end of 2015.
Blues football manager Andrew McKay said the young list would benefit from the changes.
“We are firm believers of developing people from within and the appointment of John into his new role is a reflection of his strengths in strategy and people management,” McKay said.
Barker’s promotion comes after Cameron Bruce moved from Hawthorn to join Carlton as Bolton’s senior assistant.
Under the revised structure, Bruce will coach the Blues’ back line as well as planning training while Dale Amos moves to become stoppage coach and Tim Clarke coaches the midfield.
Watson will receive assistance from recently retired Bomber Brent Stanton, former Port Adelaide player Jason Davenport and VFL coach Josh Fraser.
“We believe this coaching panel is a diverse group that will significantly benefit the development of our young playing list heading into the third season of the program under Brendon,” McKay said.