CARLTON has finalised its assistant coaching panel, poaching the highly accomplished Ashley Hansen from the Western Bulldogs.

Geelong had been targeting the Bulldogs assistant as part of its new-look coaching panel for next season after recently locking in favourite son James Kelly.

Although the Cats have missed out on Hansen, retired Carlton champion Eddie Betts has joined Geelong as a development coach.  

Hansen arrives at Ikon Park following a successful nine years as part of the Western Bulldogs coaching staff.

Ash Hansen talking to Western Bulldogs players during the round seven clash with Richmond at the MCG on April 30, 2021. Picture: Michael Willson

He will be in charge of the forwards, a role he excelled in at the Whitten Oval over the last four seasons as the Bulldogs ranked in the top three for points scored in two of the last three years.

The 34-year-old Betts played 350 matches and kicked 640 goals across his career and has been a powerful voice in the fight against racism and for giving greater opportunities to Indigenous Australians.  

"I can confirm that Eddie Betts will be on the Geelong coaching staff next year,” Matthew Lloyd told Continental Tyres AFL Trade Radio.

Eddie Betts and Kade Simpson embrace after Betts' final AFL game in round 23 at Marvel Stadium on August 21, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

The Cats confirmed the news later on Wednesday. Betts will begin his new role in mid-January. 

"Geelong is a successful club with a magnificent culture that has always been consistently strong, and I cannot wait to get involved," Betts said. 

"I’m excited to support the club and I’m looking forward to being able to grow myself as well. Geelong is known for developing people and that is also an exciting element of joining the club. 

"I’m looking forward to working with the playing list, in particular the younger players and helping them develop both on and off the field. It’s important for players to develop skills in all parts of your life.

"Obviously I will spend some time with the forwards, particularly the small forwards, but hope to get across all on-field spaces where the club see they need me."

Eddie Betts at Carlton training in August, 2021. Picture: Getty Images

Hansen had a 78-game AFL career with West Coast (2002-2010) that included a premiership in 2006. He began his coaching career as a development coach at the Bulldogs in 2013. understands Kelly wasn't initially on the radar of the Cats' football department, however things shifted under the support of chief executive Steve Hocking. 

It's expected Kelly will lead the defenders next season in the position vacated by Matthew Scarlett as one of three majors coaching changes.