Sometime, Clarkson will coach a membership that’s not Hawthorn

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Right here’s a long-range prediction for you that hopefully I’ll be capable of drag up in a couple of years’ time and make myself look sensible: sometime, Alastair Clarkson will coach an AFL membership that isn’t Hawthorn.

On Monday former Hawthorn participant Ben Dixon mentioned he believed Clarkson would stop his place on the Hawks on the finish of the yr to take up a $2 million supply from Carlton.

This prompted Clarkson to disclaim – for what have to be a minimum of the fourth time this season – that he has any intention of teaching elsewhere subsequent yr.

Tom Scully, a current recruit to the membership, mentioned Clarkson instructed his gamers on Tuesday that Dixon’s story was bogus.

“Clarko made a bit of reference to it this morning,” Scully mentioned.

“He simply mentioned, ‘I’ll handle the elephant within the room. I’m not going to Carlton’.

“So far as I’m involved, Clarko’s the coach and till he says in any other case, there’s nothing actually to see.”

It’s not the primary time and received’t be the final. Through the years Clarkson has been linked to senior teaching vacancies time and time once more, as effectively demonstrated by this tweet.

It’s the sort of story that inevitably leaves followers pissed off and disillusioned with the footy media. You may solely unfold the identical hearsay so many occasions earlier than it turns into a bit drained.

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However does that imply that is all smoke and no hearth? Not an opportunity.

Alastair Clarkson

(Picture by Cameron Spencer/AFL Photographs/through Getty Photographs)

If you’d like some factual pointing to this prediction, right here it’s: in the end, each premiership coach does it.

Since 1990, all however one of many AFL’s premiership coaches has gone on to teach at one other AFL membership – or already been at their second membership, or continues to be teaching their first.

Leigh Matthews received the flag with Collingwood in 1990 and went on for 3 extra at Brisbane. Alan Joyce took on Footscray.

Mick Malthouse moved on to Collingwood after which Carlton. Kevin Sheedy coached GWS. David Parkin was at his third membership (and his second stint at Carlton).

Dennis Pagan went to Carlton. Malcolm Blight loved a quick 15 video games at St Kilda. Paul Roos took over at Melbourne. Mark Thompson and John Worsfold each coached Essendon.

The one exception to the rule is 2004 Port Adelaide premiership coach Mark Williams, and that’s not for lack of attempting. He pushed exhausting to be Kevin Sheedy’s successor at GWS, and left the membership with a yr on his contract when Leon Cameron was picked as an alternative.

1990 is simply an arbitrary place to begin for that statistic. It is a development that extends again effectively into the many years beforehand, when senior teaching roles had been extra fluid, and to teach a number of golf equipment over a profession was extra frequent.

Clarkson isn’t any completely different from any of them, anticipate for one factor: he’s not only a premiership coach, he’s a four-time premiership coach (okay, okay – that doesn’t make him any completely different from Kevin Sheedy).

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Actually each premiership within the final six years has been received both by Clarkson himself, or certainly one of Clarkson’s proteges – Luke Beveridge in 2016, Damien Hardwick in 2017, and Adam Simpson final yr.

Three groups on this yr’s high eight are run by coaches who previously assisted Carlton, and a fourth, Don Pyke, was ‘grandfathered’ by Clarkson – a protege of his protege, having labored below Simpson at West Coast.

I’m not saying it will likely be subsequent yr – I’m assured it received’t. Clarkson has been requested time and time once more in 2019 and each time he has been utterly unambiguous. He’s dedicated to his contract at Hawthorn, and that’s not about to alter.

However, sometime, it would. Sometime for one cause or one other Clarkson will likely be available on the market and when that occurs, half the golf equipment within the league will likely be sounding him out (and that’s a conservative estimate).

The one query then left will likely be this: does he need it?

And even when it comes after taking a yr or extra away from the sport, for me there’s little question. He’ll need one other problem, wherever it could be. Lock it in.


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