Blues bombshell: Carlton parts ways with Harford after historic review

CARLTON has parted ways with coach Daniel Harford after its AFLW review.

Harford had been in charge of the Blues since the 2019 season, but departs after the historic review following a two-win campaign.

A key recommendation of the review was for the senior coach to be full-time, something Harford is unable to do.

CLASS OF 2022 Your club's retiring players

The review also found that there was "at times confusion with the gameplan and lack of alignment and consistency with its implementation".

"The review has found that there are some key barriers to success, relating to systems, culture, coaching structures and insufficient leadership to support and drive professionalism and elite behaviours," Blues president Luke Sayers said.

Daniel Harford addresses Carlton players during a clash against Port Adelaide in round three, S7, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

"One of the key findings of the review related to the undisputed need for the senior coach position to be full-time. Based on this requirement, as well as a number of key findings in relation to the performance of the program, discussions held with Daniel Harford identified that the decision would be made to part ways.

"On behalf of the board and entire football club, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Daniel for his commitment over the past five seasons and for the contribution he has made to our football club, including an inaugural Grand Final appearance in 2019.

YOUR CLUB’S B&F Who took out your club's best and fairest award?

"We are proud of many areas of growth and achievements we have gained with our AFLW program, from being an inaugural team in the competition, to seeing the game develop through expansion, and cementing Ikon Park as the home of AFLW through our genuine investment and commitment to the program.

"However, as a club and as a competition, we must keep evolving and lifting the standards of our program, in line with the elite, high-performance environment we are establishing across every level of the football club, to help us achieve sustained success."

Carlton players after their loss to Collingwood in season seven of AFLW. Picture: AFL Photos

Harford led the Blues to the Grand Final in his first season at the helm in 2019.

Carlton was into a preliminary final the following campaign before it was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic.

PLAY FOOTY Find your local club here

However, the Blues have struggled since then, missing the finals in three consecutive seasons, including a poor season seven during which they finished 14th with just two wins.

That led to the historic move as Carlton became one of the first clubs to conduct a full-scale review of its AFLW football program.

Carlton players look dejected after their clash against Melbourne in round five, S7, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

"In general, the review found that there are foundations in place for a successful AFLW program, noting program resources and facilities were identified as state-of-the-art," the Blues said.

However, it also found there was a requirement for stronger leadership across key positions, including the senior coach becoming full-time.

Along with the confusion over the gameplan, the review found players could improve standards and behaviours and a clear vision is needed for the program.

Additionally, there is a need to provide an environment to provide and receive constructive feedback with a developmental focus.