REALITY is biting for sacking Carlton coach Brendon Bolton and his long-time friend Alastair Clarkson says that’s only natural.
A month after the Blues changed their AFL senior coach, co-captain Sam Docherty said he had rung Bolton to pass on his thanks and see how he is going.
“He’s not in the best place, which you can understand when you’ve lost your job,” Docherty told RSN on Thursday morning.
“I think he wants the club to do really well and obviously he’s wishing us all the best.
“But everyone would be naive to think he’s going rosy, he’s left footy and he’s going unbelievably well.
“I don’t want to divulge too much about how he’s going … but I called him to thank him for everything he’s done for the footy club.”
Told of Docherty’s comments, Clarkson said AFL coaches’ association boss Mark Brayshaw had been in contact with Bolton to offer support.
Bolton was one of Clarkson’s assistant coaches at Hawthorn before taking the Carlton job.
The Hawthorn coach’s wife Caryn and Bolton’s wife Louisa catch up frequently and Clarkson said he had seen him two or three times in the last few weeks.
“Our friendship goes a helluva lot deeper than just whether you’re coaching the footy team or not,” Clarkson said.
“He’s obviously disappointed, but he’s also ready to move on.”
Clarkson noted that it would be natural for Bolton to struggle, given the demands on an AFL senior coach.
“He’s in a pretty good space, albeit it can be a very, very isolated game,” Clarkson said.
“You’re so firmly entrenched in the footy club, all his mates and all his network and all his dialogue is with Carlton, and then that’s just shut off altogether in the space of one day.
“There’s a pretty significant vacuum there, so that just takes a little bit of time for anyone to adjust.
“It’s going to be the same for me when that happens here.”
Docherty also said that Bolton deserves a lot of credit for what he achieved at Carlton.
“If you look at when he got there to when he left, he turned our football club completely around,” Docherty said.
“As anyone would be, you’re just trying to figure out ‘Why?’
“What happened, what could I have done better?
“It’s the nature of the industry we’re in – sometimes there are people who do a great job, but it just doesn’t work out the way you’d planned.”
© AAP 2019