Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson says he’s comfortable if it takes another two years to make the powerhouse AFL club premiership contenders.
Hawthorn coach Alistair Clarkson insists his team are exactly where they’re supposed to be – halfway down the AFL ladder and just about out of finals contention.
Clarkson described the Hawks’ thumping win against fifth-placed GWS in Canberra on Friday night as an anomaly.
The four-time premiership coach said he’s building long term and is comfortable if it takes another two years before his side can “challenge seriously” for another flag.
Hawthorn have only missed finals twice under Clarkson in the past 12 years and can still make it this season, but must win their remaining two games and rely on results from other matches.
“We can’t get too cosy with ourselves right at the present time, there’s about 10 sides above us on the ladder,” Clarkson said.
“We’ve been able to play some good football in September before but that was a fair while ago now.
“We need to build the group of players and the method to get there again and challenge seriously. At the minute we’re sitting where we are on the ladder for a reason and that’s because we’re just a mid-table side.”
The Hawks thrashed GWS 85-29 in a stunning display in snowy conditions, which reduced the Giants to their lowest score in club history.
“Every now and again we beat a side above us and everyone, including us, gets a little bit excited with that but really we sit where we are for a reason and we’re not quite good enough at the present,” Clarkson said.
“But hopefully there’s enough excitement for our fans to say we’re not too far away and we can get ourselves back up the ladder and seriously challenge again.
“If that takes 18 months or two years we’re prepared to play the long game and be patient but hopefully all our supporters can see we’re on the right track.”