The Courier-Mail

I’M UP FOR A SERIOUS BLUE

- MARK ROBINSON

A YEAR ago, the small man with the big smile was so excited when he filled in for Hawk coach Alastair Clarkson he almost did cartwheels to the microphone­s.

His first press conference finished on a sincere “thanks guys, appreciate it, thanks for coming”, in such a high squeal that truly, Brendon Bolton might have been the happiest stand-in coach of all time.

But senior coaching, fulltime, changes everything.

Yesterday, Bolton did not crack a smile for the first four minutes of his inaugural press conference at Carlton. Things had suddenly got real serious.

Asked if his bubbly personalit­y played a role in his appointmen­t, he said: “The way I now see Carlton is thorough and on the same page, it was an exhaustive process. It was around eight or nine hours conversati­on, so I’d like to think over time my capacity and the way I approached that won me the job.”

In his fill-in role at the Hawks, he spoke with excitement and emotion. Yesterday, it was all processes, sustained success, relationsh­ips, cre- ating a learning environmen­t and open communicat­ion.

Bolton, 36, is the 31st coach of the Blues. His background is solid – captain-coach at 23, coach of Box Hill and assistant to Clarkson at the most formidable football program in the land.

He is affable but under that pleasantne­ss there has to be a ruthless streak.

“People, you’ve got to bring them with you so you have to build relationsh­ips,” he said. “Process is about getting the job done, so at times you need to be ruthless to get the process done.”

 ??  ?? Picture: Michael Klein
Picture: Michael Klein

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