Cameron Larkin .com

Is Malthouse headed north to the Gold Coast?

Mick Malthouse will be at the in the coaches box once again at either Princes Park or Metricon Stadium next year.

If I’m correct, the triple-premiership winning coach will go the latter and work with his former captain, Guy McKenna.

Malthouse has through his manager, Peter Sidwell, had his name linked to coaching after being succeeded by Nathan Buckley at the end of last season.

“If a coaching job came up in the next few weeks, Michael won’t be taking it. He will not entertain any position before the end of the year – that is clear.”

Brett Ratten is under significant and ever-increasing pressure as a result of Carlton losing six of their past seven matches.

Blues president ‘Sticks’ Kernahan “reassured” the media recently that Ratten isn’t heading anywhere soon.

“At this stage he (Ratten) will be the coach until the end of the year for sure.”

Ratten is contracted to the end of next year. That’s right, the end of the 2013 season. So Kernahan’s comments won’t give Ratten a great deal of confidence in keeping his job.

The strain on the Carlton coach will intensify if they succumb to Collingwood this Friday night, interestingly against Malthouse’s former club. The run home is tough and if not on game Carlton could well lose five or six of their last eight matches.

If Carlton terminates Ratten’s contract, I presume the intent will be conveyed late in the year. That may see Carlton pay Ratten $500,000 and open the door even further for Malthouse.

However, I see Malthouse heading north to the Gold Coast.

In late 2011, the Suns had Mick on their mind as a senior assistant to Guy McKenna – similar to ‘Bomber’ Thompson and James Hird at Essendon.

Dual Adelaide premiership winning coach Malcolm Blight will step into the box with McKenna in the position of part-time director of coaching.

It has been mentioned that the club bowed to AFL pressure to have an experienced, senior person in with the second-year coach.

I see it as a trial.

If this shows a glimmer of success for the winless club, then Malthouse would and should be the priority target for the Gold Coast Suns. This would allow Blight to head back into a front office role.

If the Suns hadn’t signed McKenna up for a further two years, I’d push for him to take the reigns.

McKenna has the extension though and he would learn a great deal as too would the young playing list. The introduction of Malthouse may even entice other players to make a move.

Be it at Carlton or the Gold Coast, Mick Malthouse will be back where he belongs, in the coach’s box. I’m predicting up on the sandy beaches but as we all know, footy throws up many surprises.


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