Alastair Clarkson return to coaching, what he wants, clubs, potential new team, GWS Giants, win premiership

Former Hawthorn mastermind Alastair Clarkson has told Fox Footy he is prioritising the potential to win a premiership as he weighs up a potential return to AFL coaching.

Clarkson’s future has hung over the coaching landscape ever since his shock departure from the Hawks at the end of last season. At the time, he said he wants to take some time away from the AFL before considering a return.

Up to eight clubs have reportedly made contact with Clarkson and his management in that period, and the exit of GWS coach Leon Cameron after a near decade-long stint in charge of the expansion club, has made them the first truly open job.

Stream every match of every round of the 2022 Toyota AFL Premiership Season Live & Ad-Break Free In-Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >

NEW FOX FOOTY PODCAST – Is the eight locked, bottom two woes

Listen below or subscribe in Apple Podcasts or Spotify

While assistant and now interim coach Mark McVeigh will be a strong candidate, the Giants’ healthy list and history of winning finals in almost every year could be what piques Clarkson’s interest, in which case he would surely be the frontrunner.

Clarkson initially told AFL 360 “there’s 18, and hopefully soon 19 clubs that I wouldn’t hesitate to coach”, but then spoke about his desire to find a club with the potential to win a premiership.

“It’ll pretty much come down to one thing, for mine. I’d want to get back in the role because I want to win it (the flag),” Clarkson said on Fox Footy.

“If I didn’t feel like I was the bloke who could take that club or that group of players to win it, then I’d stay out of the game.

“I’ve got other things I can do and other passions I want to chase. So first and foremost, whether that’s a one or two-year timeframe, or whether that’s a five or six-year timeframe, I’m only coming back into it for one reason and that’s because I feel like this group can win it.”

Asked whether he was looking purely at the list to fulfil that criteria of the potential to win a premiership, Clarkson said it was more broad than that.

Clarkson won four premierships at Hawthorn but was shockingly turfed out amid a cold war with Jeff Kennett. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

“It’s the club, it’s the culture, the vision of the board and whether that aligns with your vision and your set of values. There’s a lot of feeling out that needs to occur in terms of whether there is alignment. And we’re talking about me – that goes with every coach and club, in terms of an interview process,” he said on Fox Footy.

“It’s exciting times when you give consideration to opportunities that might present, but I’m just gonna sit back for a period of time. I always said to James Henderson my manager and Karen and I have always been of the view we’d use the fullness of 2022 to work out what we’d want to do. We’re six months into that, not even.

“It’s easy to say oh, Clarkson will be at the top of the list, but for some clubs I won’t be anywhere near the list at all. So we’ll just see where it goes over the next little while and explore our options later on.”

Clarkson has spent months in the US, with both the NBA’s Golden State Warriors and NFL’s Green Bay Packers, gaining inner sanctum access to the Warriors during their recent playoff games.

Being inside the team as it tried to win its first-round series sparked Clarkson’s interest to return to coaching.

Giants on hunt for a new coach | 03:49

“Two weeks ago, I was right in the heart of the Golden State Warriors and they played their playoff series against the Denver Nuggets, and the strategy they went about trying to win that series, and the playoff game back at Golden State for the first time in three years,” he explained.

“The buzz in the stadium was just like, God, I want to be back in the cut and thrust and the cutting edge of the coal face.

“It (the passion to coach again) fluctuates. Sometimes it’s (the fire to coach) there, when I was right among some of the Golden State Warriors and they’re winning those playoff games and Draymond Green is just you know that heart and soul of the side – I’d just love to be able to coach him.

“That’s got so much significant appeal. But then there’s other sides of it, like what we witnessed today (with Leon Cameron) … a really, really proud, good football man being asked more or less to leave the game for a short period of time and that’s parts of it you don’t like about the game.”