Departing Hawthorn premiership coach Alastair Clarkson has maintained he will “take a breath” before making a decision on his future as clubs including Carlton circle.
But a subtle hint could suggest a return to the coaching box at a rival club is not the No.1 priority for the four-time premiership winner who will exit the Hawks next weekend after 17 years at the helm.
Hawthorn plays the Western Bulldogs in Tasmania on Saturday, and while AFL games will continue to be played in Hobart and Launceston for the foreseeable future, Clarkson suggested he may not be involved.
“There’s not a hell of a lot of sentiment portrayed by coaches when it comes to just getting the job done,” Clarkson said on Friday ahead of his trip south.
“It’s looking more than likely it will be my last game in Tasmania.”
Clarkson has been linked to Carlton where Blues coach David Teague is expected to fall victim to the review of the club’s football department.
Carlton president Mark LoGiudice this week said there had been no approach to the Hawthorn mentor.
“No, not even a cheeky text message,” he told the Herald Sun.
Clarkson also wouldn’t reveal if there had been an approach to his management from the Blues or any other clubs.
Coach Alastair Clarkson is leaving the club and handing it over to Sam Mitchell. Picture: Tony GoughSource:News Corp Australia
“That’s best left alone,” he said with two more games left in charge of the Hawks before premiership captain Sam Mitchell takes control.
“For 15 years there are always discussions and it’s best left to me sitting back, taking a breath and working out what I want to do next.”
Clarkson, 53, said there was no timeline on making a decision but it was more likely later rather than sooner. He said it could take “some time”.
“I’ve said all along that it’s looking very likely that I’ll take a breathe and have a look at what the second half of my life looks like,” he said.
“That might be in or out of footy. I am yet to determine that. I want to use the fullness of time, if I get the opportunity to, to just sit back and consider my wife and family.
“That’s going to take some time I think.
“The best thing I can do is step away from the game for a period of time to do that. It may mean it’s a step away from the game altogether. All the options are on the table.”
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