Having brought the fun back to Carlton, David Teague has been handed the keys to one of the AFL's most-talented lists.
Teague's stunning rise through the ranks at Ikon Park culminated on Thursday when he was unveiled as the club's new full-time coach.
The former North Melbourne and Carlton defender has signed a three-year deal after guiding the Blues to five wins in nine games since replacing Brendon Bolton on a caretaker basis.
Teague, 38, received enthusiastic backing from the playing group, who erupted into exuberant applause when their new coach arrived at Thursday's media conference.
It could not have been in starker contrast to the funereal atmosphere that prevailed towards the end of Bolton's tenure, culminating in his sacking after round 11.
Having earned his stripes as a player-coach at Carlton's VFL affiliate and an assistant coach at four AFL clubs over the past decade, Teague takes over a highly talented list that has already shown strong improvement under his watch.
"I've always wanted to become a senior coach and, if you gave me 18 teams and said which one would I pick, it'd be this one," Teague told reporters.
"Particularly nine weeks ago, I could see this playing group and I just knew there was more in them.
"To feel like you've had a part of that, to get the best out of them lately, has been something I've really enjoyed ... the last nine weeks have been right up there with my best nine weeks of football coaching in terms of enjoyment."
Externally, Teague had been considered little chance of keeping the job when he was first appointed interim coach, particularly when Blues football director Chris Judd referred to wanting a candidate without "training wheels".
But CEO Cain Liddle said Teague had been interviewed at least eight times during a two-month process and had matched all selection criteria.
"We just got to the end and thought categorically, we had the right person there," Liddle said.
"Teaguey's had 10 to 12 years of experience in the system ... we couldn't be clearer that he just could not be more ready to be a senior coach."
Teague played a straight bat when asked whether he expected the club to play finals next season or to win a premiership within three years.
But there is no denying the Blues' upside.
Co-captain Patrick Cripps is in Brownlow Medal contention ahead of his 100th game on Saturday against St Kilda.
Charlie Curnow, Sam Walsh, Harry McKay, Jack Silvagni and Jacob Weitering are all aged 22 or under.
And the Blues are well placed to lure free agents such as GWS star Stephen Coniglio.
Teague played 83 games across six seasons with North Melbourne and Carlton before being delisted in 2007.
In 2011, he moved to West Coast as an assistant coach, going on to work at St Kilda and Adelaide before returning in 2017 to Ikon Park.
His appointment continues a remarkable run for AFL caretaker coaches.
Rhyce Shaw has already received the nod to succeed Brad Scott at North Melbourne, while Brett Ratten is the hot favourite to replace Alan Richardson at St Kilda.
Australian Associated Press