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The Roar


'Fully committed:' Manager makes in-demand Clarkson's 2022 plan clear

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25th August, 2021

Master coach Alastair Clarkson is taking a break from the AFL next year after his exit from Hawthorn, his manager says.

The four-time Hawthorn premiership coach has been in hot demand since his exit from the Hawks after 17 years at the helm was announced.

Collingwood need a replacement for Nathan Buckley, while Carlton were expected to sack David Teague if Clarkson wanted the Blues job.

But Clarkson’s manager James Henderson has officially ruled the 53-year-old out of landing at another club in 2022.

“He (Clarkson) is fully committed to taking the year off to spend time with his family and to undertake further study and personal development opportunities,” a statement read.

“Henderson confirmed that he had received approaches from some AFL clubs this week but had not advanced any of those discussions.”


Despite always indicating he would take a break next year, there was a belief among those who knew Clarkson best that he he would struggle to be out of the competitive AFL environment for too long.

Clarkson coached his final game at Hawthorn last Saturday, a year earlier than initially planned after the Hawks’ messy succession plan to Sam Mitchell.

Teague expected to learn his fate as Carlton coach on Monday, and was all but resigned to losing his job, but the Blues are yet to make a call on the 40-year-old.

New Carlton president Luke Sayers the board would take their time to absorb the findings of an independent review into the football department and would not be rushed into announcing any changes. 

It comes after AFL legend, and four-time premiership coach, Leigh Matthews blasted Carlton’s hierarchy for the handling of the review.

“I must say, from the outside, whoever’s running that football club has got no idea how to run a football club,” Matthews told 3AW.

“I reckon it’s the people at the top of that football club that are the problem. Somehow or other, that is just not working.”