BRENDON Bolton's three-and-a-half-year tenure as Carlton coach came to a merciless end on Monday, one day after the Blues' 39th defeat in 43 matches.

His departure follows Brad Scott's mutual parting of ways with North Melbourne eight days ago, after only one coach – Rodney Eade at Gold Coast in 2017 – exited in the past two seasons.

Highly regarded assistant David Teague will serve as Carlton's caretaker coach for the remainder of season 2019, but attention has already turned to who will be the next long-term option. has looked at the leading candidates.

Brad Scott (North Melbourne)

There's every chance Scott's absence from AFL coaching ranks will last barely half a season. Led the Roos to consecutive preliminary final appearances in 2014 and 2015 before coaching his last game there in round 10. Scott ended his near-decade-long stint at Arden Street with 102 wins and 101 losses and still has plenty of admirers. Will be a top – if not the top – contender to replace Bolton and would be in a similar position if any other jobs came up.

Could Brad Scott go straight from Arden Street to Princes Park? Picture: AFL Photos

Scott Burns (Hawthorn)

Has long had the tag of senior coach-in-waiting, and was most recently in the running for the Gold Coast job that went to Stuart Dew and also included John Barker. Was in the mix for the job Adam Simpson won at West Coast, too. Spent five years at the Eagles and four at Collingwood, where he was the Pies' midfield coach and one of Nathan Buckley's closest confidantes, before linking up with the Hawks and Alastair Clarkson last season.

Scott Burns and Nathan Buckley in 2017. Picture: AFL Photos

Matthew Nicks (Greater Western Sydney)

One of the inaugural Level 4 coaching intake, he is Giants coach Leon Cameron's right-hand man in 2019 after eight years at Port Adelaide. Earned a reputation at Alberton as a straight shooter who was equally adept at forming strong relationships with the playing group. His range of experiences there – good, bad and challenging – are viewed as a positive for him, along with his willingness to move to a new club.

Matthew Nicks is well qualified and well respected among coaching ranks. Picture: AFL Photos

Brett Kirk (Sydney)

Regarded as a future senior coach. Kirk, who was in the previous Level 4 coaching batch, played 241 games for Sydney, including the 2005 premiership, and excels as a coach in the way he uses his people skills and intelligence to develop players as individuals and competitors. A source pointed to Malcolm Blight as an example of how "different kinds of people can be successful" as senior coaches.

There's no doubt Brett Kirk would bring something different to Carlton. Picture: AFL Photos

David Teague (Carlton)

Will be the Blues' caretaker coach for the rest of the season and was recently accepted into the exclusive Level 4 coaching program. Played for North Melbourne and Carlton, before becoming a Blues development in charge of the Northern Bullants in 2008. He led the Bullants to a Grand Final in 2009, then won the VFL flag with them a season later. Worked as an assistant at St Kilda, West Coast and Adelaide before returning to Carlton ahead of last season.

Will David Teague be able to impress while in the caretaker position? Picture: AFL Photos

Steven King (Western Bulldogs)

The darkhorse. King's first season at the Kennel was 2012, after he spent a year as St Kilda's ruck and midfield coach. His first five seasons at the Dogs were spent with the midfielders, before he switched to the backline in 2017. Industry sources believe King would make a good senior coach "in the right set of circumstances" and that he has "enormous potential". Started the Level 4 coaching course last year.

Steven King could surprise if given a senior chance. Picture: AFL Photos

Brett Ratten (St Kilda)

Would the Blues bring back the man they fired in 2012, just one season after leading them to a third finals campaign in a row? Would Ratten himself even consider it? Hugely improbable on both fronts. He is earning praise for what he's done since joining the Saints, after departing the Hawks at the end of last season. Ratten was at Hawthorn for its 2013-15 flag three-peat and put together a solid record in six seasons in charge of Carlton (59 wins, one draw, 56 losses).

Would Brett Ratten be interested in a return to Princes Park? Picture: AFL Photos

Other candidates:

Adam Kingsley (Richmond)
Blake Caracella (Richmond)
Ben Rutten (Essendon)
Jade Rawlings (Melbourne)
Justin Longmuir (Collingwood)
Dean Solomon (Gold Coast)
Josh Drummond (Gold Coast)
Craig Jennings (Melbourne)
Daniel Giansiracusa (Western Bulldogs)

Senior coach changes since 2008
SeasonClubCoachTimingReasonReplaced by
2008BrisbaneLeigh MatthewsEnd of seasonStepped downMichael Voss
2009North MelbourneDean LaidleyDuring seasonSacked after four wins, eight losses for seasonDarren Crocker (interim)
RichmondTerry WallaceDuring seasonSacked after 37 wins, 60 losses, two drawsJade Rawlings (interim)
2010EssendonMatthew KnightsEnd of seasonSacked after 25 wins, 41 losses, one drawJames Hird
GeelongMark ThompsonEnd of seasonStepped downChris Scott
Port AdelaideMark WilliamsDuring seasonSacked with a 5-10 record in 2010 after missing finals in 2008-09Matthew Primus
SydneyPaul RoosEnd of seasonPre-planned hand over to John LongmireJohn Longmire
2011AdelaideNeil CraigDuring seasonSacked after four wins, 12 losses for seasonMark Bickley (interim)
CollingwoodMick MalthouseEnd of seasonPre-planned handover to Nathan BuckleyNathan Buckley
FremantleMark HarveyEnd of seasonSacked after missing finals with nine wins, 13 losses for seasonRoss Lyon
MelbourneDean BaileyDuring seasonSacked after 22 wins, 59 losses, 2 drawsTodd Viney (interim)
St KildaRoss LyonEnd of seasonResigned, joined Fremantle as senior coachScott Watters
Western BulldogsRodney EadeDuring seasonSacked after 7 wins, 12 losses for seasonPaul Williams (interim)
2012CarltonBrett RattenEnd of seasonSacked after missing finals in 2012Mick Malthouse
Port AdelaideMatthew PrimusDuring seasonSacked after 5 wins, 13 losses for seasonGarry Hocking (interim)
2013BrisbaneMichael VossDuring season8 wins, 11 losses for seasonMark Harvey (interim)
EssendonJames HirdDuring seasonSuspended by AFL with one game remaining in seasonSimon Goodwin (interim)
MelbourneMark NeeldDuring seasonSacked after 5 wins, 23 lossesNeil Craig (interim)
St KildaScott WattersEnd of seasonSacked after 17 wins, 27 losses, no finalsAlan Richardson
West CoastJohn WorsfoldEnd of seasonStepped downAdam Simpson
2014AdelaideBrenton SandersonEnd of seasonSacked after missing finals in 2013-14Phil Walsh
EssendonMark ThompsonEnd of seasonReplaced by James Hird returning from suspensionJames Hird
Gold CoastGuy McKennaEnd of seasonSacked after 24 wins, 64 losses, no finalsRodney Eade
Western BulldogsBrendan McCartneyEnd of seasonSacked after 20 wins, 46 lossesLuke Beveridge
2015CarltonMick MalthouseDuring seasonSacked after 1 win, 7 losses for seasonJohn Barker (interim)
EssendonJames HirdDuring seasonResigned after 5 wins, 14 losses for seasonMatthew Egan (interim)
2016BrisbaneJustin LeppitschEnd of seasonSacked after 14 wins, 52 lossesChris Fagan
MelbournePaul RoosEnd of seasonPre-planned handover to Simon GoodwinSimon Goodwin 
2017Gold CoastRodney EadeDuring seasonStepped down after board voted not to renew contractStuart Dew
2019North MelbourneBrad ScottDuring seasonScott and the club agreed to a mutual parting of waysRhyce Shaw (interim)