There has been a late twist in Essendon’s coaching race with assistant Blake Caracella set to throw his hat in the ring, according to The Age’s Caroline Wilson.
Caracella has been an assistant coach at Essendon since the 2020 season and had worked under recently-sacked senior coach Ben Rutten. Like fellow candidates James Hird and Dean Solomon, Caracella played in Essendon’s most recent premiership side in 2000.
While Caracella is yet to meet with Essendon’s coaching sub-committee due to being overseas, Wilson revealed he’d spoken with Jordan Lewis, who is one of six people on the panel.
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“There is a wrinkle here,” Wilson said of Essendon’s coaching search on Nine’s Footy Classified.
“Blake Caracella, the Essendon assistant coach, who has been a part of the review is in Europe.
“He’s getting back in the next 24 hours and my understanding is he has decided that upon his return he is likely to throw his hat into the senior coaching ring.
“I’m not sure if Blake Caracella will be seriously considered for the job, I’m not sure how he’s come out of the review that’s been going on, I know he’s been interviewed twice … but it’ll be interesting to see if they don’t want him to present.”
According to Wilson and other reports, Melbourne assistant Adem Yze is “clearly” the favourite to win the job out of the four candidates interviewed, a list which includes Hird, Solomon and Brendon Lade.
Yze has already conducted a second interview with the club and was spotted touring Essendon’s facilities on Wednesday.
Wilson said Essendon retains an interest in former North Melbourne coach Brad Scott, who is still yet to decide whether he is open to leaving his role as the AFL’s head of football.
While news of Hird’s interview had sent the AFL’s rumour mill into overdrive last week, he is understood to be unlikely to return to Essendon.
“I think the advice to James is that he needs to do an apprenticeship elsewhere,” she said.
Essendon is expected to reach a decision on its next senior coach by the end of next week.
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