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Alastair Clarkson passes off AFL coaching speculation

By Roger Vaughan,

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22 Have your say

    He’s boss at Hawthorn and Alastair Clarkson quoted The Boss as he brushed aside sudden speculation about his AFL coaching future.

    If the Hawks lose to Geelong on Easter Monday, they will have made a 0-4 start to the season for the first time since 2005 – Clarkson’s debut season as coach.

    It led to former Port Adelaide coach Mark Williams saying last week that Clarkson should consider leaving the Hawks.

    Former Geelong and Essendon coach Mark Thompson also speculated that the four-time premiership coach might consider walking if the right offer emerged.

    This comes after Clarkson swung a wrecking ball through their list last October, trading out Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis in a stunning bid to stay ahead of the curve.

    And on Sunday, Clarkson quoted from Bruce Springsteen’s song Wrecking Ball as the coach said Hawthorn’s only focus was recovering from their slump.

    “We’ve worked our way through tough positions before,”: Clarkson said.

    “Bruce Springsteen has a great song – hard times come, hard times go.

    “We’re going through a hard time at the minute, but we’re really, really strong in our resolve to pull ourselves out of this pickle we’re in and get ourselves back on the winning list.”

    Clarkson said he had not read Williams’ column, but a friend had told him about it.

    He also noted that after bad starts, Fremantle and Gold Coast have improved to 2-2 after Saturday’s wins.

    “Whenever your side is going through a tough patch, there’s going to be external noise and opinion and that’s the game we’re in,” he said.

    “All we need to do is bunker down – it’s a collective effort of our footy club, it’s not about any one person.

    “As we’ve seen, it’s clearly been demonstrated by a couple of sides in the last couple of weeks in Gold Coast and Fremantle, who have turned their seasons around very, very quickly.”

    Despite the new-look side and a barren start to the season, Clarkson also has supreme faith in the Hawks.

    “It can happen, as long as we continue to have faith in the processes we have in place here and the people we have in place here,” he said.

    “That’s been the case for a long period of time and I don’t expect it to be any different in our approach in the next few weeks.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (22)

    • April 16th 2017 @ 3:54pm
      Birdman said | April 16th 2017 @ 3:54pm | ! Report

      Not sure why anyone would take advice from Choco, let alone the best coach of the modern era.

      • April 16th 2017 @ 9:09pm
        rusty said | April 16th 2017 @ 9:09pm | ! Report

        Agree. Talk of Clarkson not being up to the job is merely symptomatic of our internet-fed, 24 hour news cycle desperate to create stories where there are none. It says nothing about Clarkson or his ability to coach. Which is clearly very good.

      • Roar Guru

        April 16th 2017 @ 9:47pm
        Paul D said | April 16th 2017 @ 9:47pm | ! Report

        Yeah I don’t know where this nonsense is coming from. Hawthorn not being the team they once were is no reflection on Alistair Clarkson. That’s the nature of the game. Teams have peaks and troughs.

        Clarko should do a Malthouse and hang around for 10 years till they’re back at the pinnacle. I’d back him in to do it all again if the hunger was there (maybe not 3, but still)

        If he’s still keen for the job and wants to keep going why not. They know how good he is.

        • April 17th 2017 @ 7:45am
          Nineteen said | April 17th 2017 @ 7:45am | ! Report


          From television to radio to the digital world authors and journos and broadcasters are trying to arrest our attention by making an incendiary remark or some other ‘against the grain’ observation. Being different is important. Being different without offering anything of value is another experience.

          Each week there is a villan of the week. (Insert coaches name/player here) Seldom do you see anything positive. “Why the Lions can jump four spots this year” takes more imagination and research to write rather than critising yet another player/coach.

      • April 17th 2017 @ 9:46am
        Linz said | April 17th 2017 @ 9:46am | ! Report

        Don’t know why you wouldn’t take good advice from Mark Williams…after all he has AFL in his blood, he learnt his craft from his brilliant father Fos Williams.
        He himself is a trained teacher.
        I personally would listen and take advise from this wonderful and insightful man.

    • April 16th 2017 @ 9:58pm
      SmithHatesMaxwell said | April 16th 2017 @ 9:58pm | ! Report

      Hawthorn got almost NOTHING for losing Mitchell, Lewis and Brad Hill.

      Taking a wrecking ball to the list is not the issue. Getting NOTHING for these guys is.

      Had they have kept Lewis and Mitchell, sure they might be a mid-table team this year with 8-12 wins but where does that leave them next year?

      • Roar Guru

        April 16th 2017 @ 11:02pm
        Paul D said | April 16th 2017 @ 11:02pm | ! Report

        The only one who was worth anything was Hill – and they got pick 23 for him. Perfectly reasonable deal given what other trades went on and who went at around that price.

        The other two were worth only junk picks because clubs trade in terms of future mileage. No player with only a few seasons left in the legs is going to command much in a trade deal no matter how good he is, that’s the simple economics of it. Mitchell’s trade was basically an arranged marriage and Lewis had already been told he was being eased out of the side – the handling of the latter is about you can fault them for. Can’t blame him for looking around and they seemed happy to wish him the best of luck.

        Your last sentence indicates you’re not opposed to them being traded out at any rate.

        What you can criticise the Hawks though is for giving up their future first round pick to St Kilda to get O’Meara – if the Hawks have a bad season and wind up missing out on a top 5 pick because of that there’s going to be an enormous amount of pressure on that young man’s shoulders. His move to the Hawks could wind up being the greatest poisoned chalice of our era if it all goes wrong

      • April 16th 2017 @ 11:37pm
        Don Freo said | April 16th 2017 @ 11:37pm | ! Report

        Now here’s a problem for you, anon…Ross got Brad Hill to Freo “for nothing”. Was that brilliant of Ross or is it only credited to Ross if the recruit is a failure?

        Your line of argument changes for each new target of criticism. You forget what you have previously said.

        Time to target your Swans…it can’t be umpiring every time..

        • Roar Guru

          April 18th 2017 @ 8:58pm
          Penster said | April 18th 2017 @ 8:58pm | ! Report

          Pick 23 is not “nothing”, it was the right amount for Brad Hill, slightly overs if anything. Domain is perfectly suited to his outside run, but he’s the very definition of doing well if the team is doing well. Not a match winner.
          And looks like I’ll be catering your BBQ Don.

          • April 18th 2017 @ 10:45pm
            Don Freo said | April 18th 2017 @ 10:45pm | ! Report

            Ah…very gracious. I’ll bring a red.

          • Roar Guru

            April 18th 2017 @ 11:40pm
            Dalgety Carrington said | April 18th 2017 @ 11:40pm | ! Report

            Well that could be taken either way Penster. But Brad played well at Adelaide Oval in the Port thrashing and backed it up the week later against the Doggies.

      • April 17th 2017 @ 3:26pm
        Leonard said | April 17th 2017 @ 3:26pm | ! Report

        Didn’t Hill, B hissy-fit his way back over the Nullarbor?

        • Roar Guru

          April 18th 2017 @ 3:30pm
          Steve J said | April 18th 2017 @ 3:30pm | ! Report

          I guess the same way Dangerfield and Judd hissy fitted their way back to Victoria ….

          • Roar Guru

            April 18th 2017 @ 3:33pm
            Cat said | April 18th 2017 @ 3:33pm | ! Report

            Dangerfield earned the right as a free agent.

            • April 18th 2017 @ 7:54pm
              johno said | April 18th 2017 @ 7:54pm | ! Report

              What about Treloar, Prestia, Caddy, Mitchell, O’Meara, O’Rourke, Plowman, Hoskin-Elliot, Adams, Marchbank, Bruce etcetc etc all who left interstate teams to back to Vic.

              Unlike Hill none of them are triple premiership players, so I think the Hawks got thier money’s worth from Hill and they used him as currency to get O’Meara or Mitchell anyway who they really wanted

    • April 17th 2017 @ 5:14am
      dave said | April 17th 2017 @ 5:14am | ! Report

      So you replace the best coach in the leauge for some unknown coach.I’m all for it.

    • April 17th 2017 @ 2:21pm
      Leonard said | April 17th 2017 @ 2:21pm | ! Report

      On a bit of a tangent, but . . .

      it’s bloody 2.15, and still-over an hour before the Cats v Hawks bounce-down. Who TF (or ‘who the bloody hell’ if the editor prefers) is running our (or should that be ‘our’?) game? This 100-minute delayed start has likely put off 10,000 / 15,000 / 20,000 potential spectators. Be interested to see the official attendance.

    • Roar Guru

      April 18th 2017 @ 4:01pm
      Steve J said | April 18th 2017 @ 4:01pm | ! Report

      Swings and roundabouts

      By the Hawks not having access to any high draft picks. 2012 – 2016 has meant they have brought in players like O’Brien, Hartung, Brand, Sicily, Miles, Burton and Lovell through the later parts of the draft, Out of that lot I would say Sicily would get a game at the Dogs / GWS. None of the others would.

      Their best payer from the 2011 draft in Hill has gone. So that’s 6 drafts where the talent they have brought in has been middling.

      The Hawks have tried to beat the system using trades to get Mitchell, Frawley, O’Meara, McEvoy, Fitzpatrick, O’Rourke, Vickery – and over time that has diluted the youth coming through.

      Of the above Tom Mitchell will be a gun for years to come … the rest are either not getting a game or poor investments

      The Hawks will need to go back to the draft pool …. next year as they can’t get anything from their first round this season, they gave that away.

      O’Meara will be give time and he is quality, but 2 years out of the game and a few niggling knee issues doesn’t cast a good light on it

      The Hawks have bottomed out. They have lost 4 assistant coaches to other clubs as senior coaches in Simpson, Fagan, Bolton and Beveridge and have had a huge exodus in seniors over the past 3 years – Lake, Mitchell, Lewis, Hale, Guerra, Sewell, as well as having lost Suckling to the Dogs.

      At the end of this year you would expect a few of Hodge, Gibson, Burgoyne to go (if not all) …. Roughhead, Poppy, Birchall are all nearing or passing the 30 age bracket which people on this site seem to think means game over

      Its not going to get any easier for the Hawks and other teams will smell a little bit of payback for the unsociable Hawks.

      • April 18th 2017 @ 8:49pm
        Prophetable said | April 18th 2017 @ 8:49pm | ! Report

        Unsociable Hawks? Ha. I think you mean ‘winning’ hawks. Thats seems to have upset some people over the last few years? Always thought that they played a hard but fair brand of footy. Tall poppy syndrome alive and well it seems in AFL land.

        • Roar Guru

          April 18th 2017 @ 10:10pm
          Paul D said | April 18th 2017 @ 10:10pm | ! Report

          Nonsense, it’s just teams enjoying getting one over teams they haven’t beaten in a while. Lots of teams took a hell of a lot of satisfaction in towelling up the Lions in the mid to late 2000’s

          • April 18th 2017 @ 11:50pm
            Don Freo said | April 18th 2017 @ 11:50pm | ! Report

            Not so much because the Lions supporters were never ungracious like Hawks supporters have been and Brissy players were actually nice. Even Aker was lovable. You could never say that about Mitchell, Lewis, Hodge, Gibson, Lake or Sewell.

        • Roar Guru

          April 19th 2017 @ 9:54am
          Steve J said | April 19th 2017 @ 9:54am | ! Report

          Unsociable was a term coined back in 2008 in relation to the way the Hawks played. I haven’t just invented it.

          Not tall poppies, just a bit of payback coming their way for the winning streaks they’ve had over some teams

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