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SOS hopeful Lachie will stay

Nick Bowen  June 30, 2015 12:11 PM

Lachie Henderson has been in red-hot form over the past fortnight. (Photo: AFL Photos)

Lachie Henderson has been in red-hot form over the past fortnight. (Photo: AFL Photos)

Carlton is confident of re-signing Lachie Henderson despite significant opposition interest, Blues list manager Stephen Silvagni says.

Henderson is due to come out of contract at the end of this season and is being closely monitored by rival clubs, with the Cats leading the charge for the former Geelong Falcon.

However, Silvagni told reporters on Tuesday that Carlton remained in "constant contact" with Henderson and his manager, Tom Petroro of Stride Sports, and drew confidence from their recent discussions.

"We're comfortable with where things sit at the minute," Silvagni said.

"We met probably a week to 10 days ago so that was our last conversation.

"There were some positive signs there."

Silvagni was joined at Ikon Park by Carlton chief executive Steven Trigg as the club launched the Peter Dean Father-Son Academy, which will see an initial group of 18 Blues father-sons coached by former 200-game Carlton player Ryan Houlihan.

Trigg said the club's coaching selection panel had started to sound out candidates to fill the vacancy created by Mick Malthouse's sacking but had yet to make a short list.

The Blues boss said caretaker coach John Barker had done a "fantastic job" in his four rounds at the helm, having led Carlton to wins in its past two games.

But Trigg stressed that while Barker had a "great opportunity to audition right under our noses" Carlton would take its name to find the right candidate.

Trigg was reluctant to offer specifics on the type of candidate the Blues were seeking, or the salary that they were prepared to pay, saying the club wanted to keen an open mind during its search.

"We've started to make some calls and have had what I would call the fireside chats and (are) just trying to go through a process of discovery at the moment," Trigg said.

"Within reason we feel like we've got plenty of time to be able to make some good, clear, reasoned timely assessments.
"But at the moment it's really just a process of discovery."

However, Trigg suggested the new coach would have to share the club's vision for its future.

"[We're] setting a framework for the type of coach given where we believe Carlton is at, and where we're trying to take the club," Trigg said.

"And (it will be a case of) a coach fitting into that rather than a coach coming in and – perhaps (under) the old methodology of turning things upside down – (saying) 'this is my way or the highway'.

"We're really clear as a board, management and football group as to where we're taking the club.

"So it's really important for us and the coach has a key role to fit within what we're trying to do with Carlton."

The Peter Dean Academy's first group of father-sons includes Silvagni's eldest son Jack and fellow potential 2015 recruits Bailey Rice (son of 1995 premiership player Dean) and Jake Bradley (son of Blues games record-holder Craig).

Peter Dean played 248 games for Carlton between 1984-1998, including the 1987 and 1995 premierships.

The Academy will be re-named every five years after a different ex-Carlton player.

To qualify for the Academy, participants must be at least 10 years old.