Alastair Clarkson, an AFL coach, is happy that the “circus” is gone and is eager to try to push struggling North Melbourne back up the standings. The news that Clarkson would rejoin the team where his playing career began in 1987 put an end to the intense uncertainty around his future on Friday.
Following his departure from the Hawks at the conclusion of 2021, the four-time Hawthorn champion coach will coach the Kangaroos for the following five seasons. After weeks of only negotiating with Clarkson, North this week had to deal with an outrageous late offer from Essendon.
But Clarkson declined the Bombers’ late interest, claiming that he had only answered the phone to new Essendon president David Barham out of courtesy. He acknowledges that the Bombers made their bid too late and that they were eager to take on what is undoubtedly the toughest challenge in the AFL.
Regarding his decision to go with North, Clarkson stated at Arden St.” I hate being the center of attention, and I knew it was turning into a circus. I object to the idea that you effectively hold the game hostage until a choice is taken.
On November 1st, the 54-year-old will begin his tenure as North’s head coach, succeeding Leigh Adams. Following David Noble (2021–22), Rhyce Shaw (2020), and Brad Scott, Clarkson will be the club’s fourth full-time coach in five years (2010-19). After only five wins in 38 games under Noble, North decided they needed an experienced coach after two first-time AFL leaders. Noble was fired in July.
For 17 years, Clarkson served as Hawthorn’s head coach. During his tenure, the Hawks won premierships in 2008 and 2013–2015. He left Hawthorn in August 2021, one year before his contract was set to end, as a result of a convoluted plot to replace him with former Hawks champion Sam Mitchell as a coach.
Before notifying the Giants this week that he preferred to stay in Melbourne over moving to Sydney, Clarkson met with North and GWS. As the Kangaroos attempt to avoid a second consecutive wooden spoon when they visit Gold Coast on Saturday, he insists that North is in a stronger position than critics realize.
Clarkson admitted that there are still certain holes that need to be filled despite the fact that a lot of hard work has already been done in that area. Despite the fact that the effects aren’t yet visible on the field, “I don’t think it will be a 10-year turnaround.”
He acknowledged Sonja Hood, the president of the North, for her contribution to the conversations with Clarkson. Clarkson, who follows in the footsteps of his hero and fellow Hawthorn star John Kennedy Sr., pleased Hood by being signed. Prior to coaching North from 1985 to 1989, Kennedy coached the Hawks to the club’s first three VFL championships in 1961, 1971, and 1976.
Despite the fact that we’ll address the media later today, Hood continued, “This is a turning point for all of us.” This definitely marks a turning point for our club, he wrote. It is impossible to overstate how professional Alastair and his manager James Henderson have been over the past four weeks.
We’ve had a quick introduction to one another, and Alastair’s enthusiasm for returning our club back to its rightful place is contagious. It’s a good day today. Alastair is returning to our house.
“Alastair and his manager, James Henderson, have been professional over the past four weeks, and I can’t say enough good things about them.
“We’ve had a little introduction to one another, and Alastair is tremendously passionate about putting our club back to where it belongs.
On November 1, formally starting his employment with us, Alastair will join his wife Caryn and his three children, Stephanie, Matthew, and Georgia, as members of the Shinboner family.
The club announced on social media with a message that simply included the number 781. Clarkson was the 781st player to make his debut for North Melbourne in 1987.
In that encounter against Melbourne, Clarkson scored three goals, including the game-winning goal just before the final siren.
He said that after the team’s disastrous 2-19 start to the season, he thought a change in fortunes wasn’t too far away when he decided to return to the club as its new coach.
“I consider the events that took place at Hawthorn after I moved there at the end of 2004. At the time, I thought it would take a team six, seven, or eight years to climb the ladder from the bottom to the top, but it only took four years, according to Clarkson.
“What occurs in football is unknown. There is no magic solution to this problem; I’ve been playing this game for a very, very long time.
Sometimes it simply takes a lot of hard work, bringing excellent people together, and connecting them into a vision where you bring a lot of good people along with you, including your fans.