Wednesday, December 1

AFL news 2021: offer from Alastair Clarkson Tasmania, Hawthorn coach signs new surprise contract

Alastair Clarkson turned down an offer to coach Carlton in order to take time out of the game, but has now decided to return.

Alastair Clarkson turned the Blues out, but couldn’t say no to a development position with the bidding team behind Tasmania’s push for his own AFL club.

Clarkson’s future has been the subject of wild speculation in recent months since his messy divorce from the Hawks led to him leaving the club with 12 months remaining on his contract.

The 53-year-old was offered the opportunity to coach Carlton on a silver platter, but brought the club down amid his recruiting debacle that ultimately resulted in Michael Voss being appointed coach and Ross Lyon retiring from the career at the last second.

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Clarkson spoke publicly last month to state that he had three options for the next step in his career, mentioning that he was interested in the potential to coach a Tasmanian club.

His new deal, however, is purely as an advisor. It is a position that comes with a six-month contract.

He frees Clarkson to position himself for any available AFL coaching position for the 2023 season.

Tasmanian Prime Minister Peter Gutwein confirmed the deal on Thursday.

“Alastair will provide information on funding, infrastructure, a state soccer pathway, talent identification pathways and membership,” he said.

Clarkson will first continue with his plan to spend four months traveling abroad, studying elite sports programs in the United States.

The Tasmanian state government-backed nomination team hopes that Clarkson’s study abroad can help the task force when he returns.

Tasmania is pushing the AFL to be awarded its own AFL team, after decades of providing cash for North Melbourne and Hawthorn to host home games in the state.

The AFL has previously said that the league will address the possible inclusion of Tasmania in 2022.

A Tasmanian team could be five or six years away, and that’s only if the AFL Commission decides to include the southern state, which has produced a long list of soccer superstars.

Clarkson said last month that it was a “no-brainer” for the AFL to include a Tasmanian team and even said he would be willing to be the team’s inaugural coach.

“It depends on where you are and what you are doing at the time, but yes, definitely,” he said.

“If I were unemployed like now, I would be raising my hand to get involved in such an exciting undertaking.

“I think it’s a no-brainer for AFL competition and it’s obvious for Tassie to roll up her sleeves and get behind.”

Launceston was a second home for Hawthorn for much of Clarkson’s tenure and the 53-year-old said the “heart” of soccer deserves a team and that he would help launch the fight.

“I’d like to do something for the industry and that includes maybe doing some things for the momentum of Tassie and her own team.”

In August, it was reported that Clarkson had a genuine interest in Carlton’s offer, but eventually walked away.

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