St Kilda caretaker Brett Ratten has made his pitch to return to senior AFL coaching ranks, acknowledging his opportunity to audition for the vacant top job at the Saints while also refusing to rule out a potential return to Carlton.
Ratten, who coached the Blues from 2007 to 2012, will lead the Saints for the remainder of the season after the club parted ways with Alan Richardson.
The 48-year-old is yet to be approached by Carlton but says he would consider interviewing for their vacant senior coaching role.
Plenty has changed for Ratten since he last sat in the hot seat.
The highly-rated mentor played a key role in Hawthorn's 2013-15 premiership trifecta as an assistant coach under Alastair Clarkson.
He also experienced tragedy off the field when his teenage son Cooper died in a car accident in 2015.
"I'm probably not as emotional," Ratten told reporters on Thursday when asked how he had changed since coaching at Carlton.
"When you're a younger coach - and probably sometimes being at the club that you played for, I probably got caught up a little bit in being there as well.
"I've had a lot go on in my life since that period and maybe I look at life a lot different too. I have a laugh and enjoy it because there's some things that you can change and there's some things that you actually can't change.
"When you're in a senior coaching role you're probably trying to do the right thing by fixing everything but sometimes, you just can't do that."
While a strong performance in the remaining six weeks would surely help Ratten's chances of leading the Saints beyond this season, there is strong speculation that former North Melbourne coach Brad Scott is in the box seat.
The Saints insist they will undergo a rigorous search but there is added intrigue with Ratten's declaration that he is open to interviewing at Carlton.
"I'd consider it," Ratten said.
"But that hasn't happened and I'm just worrying about what I can do at the St Kilda footy club.
"I've been very fortunate that they came to me last year with Richo and offered me a spot here and I've really enjoyed my time here. My focus is on what we can do here at the Saints and try and get some wins on the board."
Ratten's first challenge looms on Sunday when the Saints face the Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium.
Injury-plagued star recruit Dan Hannebery will miss another week but Ratten insisted he remained a chance to play again this season.
Australian Associated Press