Neil Craig was surprised to learn of Brendon Bolton's sacking from Carlton.
Craig arrived at the Blues in 2015 to work alongside Bolton in a director of coaching and development role, before parting ways with the club in August, 2017.
The former Adelaide coach described Bolton as “the best young coach” he has ever seen and that several conversations took place with Bolton prior to his appointment.
“I was surprised because I rate Brendon really highly … he is the best young coach I’ve ever seen,” Craig told SEN Breakfast.
“Before I went to Carlton there was a lot of conversations between Brendon and myself about whether he really wants this (working with Craig).
“And that’s the first thing is that the coach has got to want it, because it’s no good the coach saying yes but deep down saying no, because it will end in tears.
“Brendon was really clear on that and I was clear that that was what he wanted.
“I think it’s a really important role now and the best coaches in the world have those people around them.”
Bolton and Carlton parted ways mid-season after he won just 16 of 77 games during his time in charge.