St Kilda coach Brett Ratten accepts that the spectre of Alastair Clarkson is real for coaches around the league in the wake of Hawthorn’s decision to move him on at the end of next year.
The Hawks’ decision to initiate a coaching succession plan in which Sam Mitchell will replace Clarkson has sent ripples around the rest of the league, with Clarkson’s future – both next season and beyond – up in the air.
Alastair Clarkson’s time as Hawthorn coach is coming to an end.Credit:Getty Images
Ratten, who worked as an assistant to Clarkson at the Hawks, is contracted at St Kilda until the end of 2022.
He said clubs would almost inevitably be drawn to Clarkson.
“That’s the nature of the game. You’ve got to perform, the game is brutal, whether you’re a coach, player. It’s a business in a way. You’ve got to make these decisions for your football club. If he’s out there I think teams will start to talk about whether they employ him, and fair enough too,” Ratten said.
Ratten lauded Clarkson, a four-time premiership coach, for his influence on the game.
“I’m not surprised at anything in footy to be honest. But I do know Alastair Clarkson’s been an amazing coach. He’s had some real influence on me as a coach.
“Hopefully people don’t just look at him as the Hawthorn coach but what he’s done for the game. But he might go around again, somewhere else, and that could be pretty likely. He’s an amazing coach.”
More to come
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