Axe finally falls on AFL coach David Teague to cap messy few weeks at Carlton

David Teague’s yes-no-wait-maybe saga is over after AFL club Carlton belatedly completed the sacking of a coach they appointed two years ago. The Blues, having conducted a football department review, were expected to part ways with the under-siege coach on Monday.

The club sharpened its axe but delayed a decision, with Teague fearing the worst as he conducted exit interviews after Carlton’s 13th-placed finish. Teague has now learned his fate, which is expected to be announced publicly later on Thursday.

Four-time Hawthorn premiership mastermind Alastair Clarkson has declared he will not coach in 2022, leaving former St Kilda and Fremantle mentor Ross Lyon as the frontrunner in the field to replace Teague.

Teague’s exit caps a messy couple of weeks and continues an unstable stretch for the Blues, who have not been part of finals since 2013. Head coaches Teague, Brendon Bolton, Mick Malthouse and Brett Ratten have been cut loose by the club in the space of nine years.

Teague sensed the tide turning against him in recent weeks, admitting after the Blues’ final game of the season on Saturday night that “it doesn’t look like it’s going to go in my favour”.

The former North Melbourne and Carlton player served as caretaker coach after Bolton’s dismissal in 2019, impressing in such a fashion that he was handed a three-year contract and the job on a full-time basis.

Teague finishes with a 21-29 win-loss record from 50 games in charge of the Blues. He guided Carlton to eight victories this season, their highest number in a single year since 2013, but pressure built as speculation swirled about the club’s alleged pursuit of Lyon.

Lyon last week flagged an interest in the Carlton job despite there being no vacancy at that stage, prompting Teague’s manager Liam Pickering to bemoan what he termed “a grubby … set-up interview” that was “pretty poor”.