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FROM the unattainable, to those desperate to jump into the hot seat, to those prepared but never sure, Carlton will find plenty of doors to knock on as it searches for a prospective coach.

Former West Coast coach and AFLCA chairman John Worsfold was considered the prime candidate, but he ruled himself out of the running on Tuesday night.

Alastair Clarkson (Hawthorn)
Who wouldn't want the three-time premiership coach? Clarkson is locked in until end of 2016 and doesn't break contracts. Only a succession plan that suits Hawthorn would make it possible but why would Clarkson leave Hawthorn to join Carlton?
Our view: Next to impossible.

Neil Craig (Essendon)
Craig has experience at three clubs, including the senior coaching position at Adelaide and interim senior gig at Melbourne. Carlton CEO Steven Trigg knows him and he impressed the Western Bulldogs as a coaching candidate.
Our view: Looks pretty settled at Essendon.

Brenton Sanderson (NAB AFL Academy)
His record was not that bad at Adelaide. He would love to coach again, is media savvy and learned lessons in first job.
Our view: Impressed Trigg initially. Is he still impressed? 

Stuart Dew (Sydney Swans)*
Has a presence, is successful, understands the modern game and is smart enough to know when he is ready.
Our view: A definite candidate.

Matthew Nicks (Port Adelaide)*
His current senior coach rates him highly, he has coached his own team and he has aspirations to coach his own AFL team.
Our view: Too soon. 

Brendon Bolton (Hawthorn)*
His record is five from five after taking over temporarily from Clarkson midway through last year. Would be a huge job for an untried coach with time on his side.
Our view: Maybe, but a huge job for someone so inexperienced.

Robert Harvey (Collingwood)*
Worked at Carlton when he first left St Kilda and has impressed Nathan Buckley enough at Collingwood to rise to senior assistant. A quiet achiever, he would have instant respect based on his playing record.
Our view: Should apply.

Brett Montgomery (Western Bulldogs)
Worked at Carlton, so knows the environment and the players. Bitterly disappointed to miss out on the Western Bulldogs job but has dusted himself off and re-committed to the task.
Our view: Seems ready.

Mark Harvey (Essendon)
The former Fremantle senior coach took over as interim coach at the Brisbane Lions before stepping into the breach at Essendon to support the club. Responsible for starting the rebuild that has the Dockers' list well placed now. 
Our view: Will give a solid performance if selected.

Peter Sumich (Fremantle)
Has never given up his hope of coaching at senior level. Ross Lyon will be able to give Stephen Silvagni an appraisal of his readiness.
Our view: 'SOS 'should sound out Lyon on Sumich.

Blake Caracella (Geelong)*
Has a smart football brain and has quietly built experience at successful clubs. Knows the game backwards and quality person.
Our view: Carlton should speak to him.

John Barker
Has the opportunity to do a virtual audition for the job in the final 14 games of the season. Was an assistant at St Kilda under Ross Lyon, coached alongside Alastair Clarkson and then joined Carlton under Mick Malthouse. Good bloke and experienced in crisis and success.
Our view: Will need to do what Paul Roos did at the Sydney Swans to win the job.

*accepted in AFL-endorsed coaching accreditation course.