SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 21: Alastair Clarkson, coach of the Hawks, looks on during the round 14 AFL match between the Sydney Swans and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Sydney Cricket Ground on June 21, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Three teams are reportedly in the running to acquire the services of former Hawthorn coaching mastermind, Alastair Clarkson, with a potential fourth club also a candidate.

Clarkson, who called it quits at Waverley Park at the conclusion of last season, has been assessing his options while serving on the Tasmanian AFL team taskforce.

According to renowned journalist Caroline Wilson, GWS Giants, Essendon and St Kilda are supposedly the three sides in the best position to pursue Clarkson, as well as Tasmania if the state is to secure the AFL's 19th licence.

Speaking on Channel Nine's Footy Classified on Monday evening, Wilson revealed that she believes the Giants are the current front-runners due to their present coaching vacancy.

"I believe that there are three clubs very much in the mix at the moment … GWS is obviously in the box seat because they're without a coach," she said.

"I'm not ruling out St Kilda or Essendon or the team that may get a 19th license later this year, Tasmania."

Additionally, Wilson stated she doesn't believe the Gold Coast Suns will be an option for Clarkson come the start of 2023, likely due to the club's mini-resurgence under Stuart Dew this season.

LAUNCESTON, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 23: Suns head coach Stuart Dew during the round 14 AFL match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Gold Coast Suns at University of Tasmania Stadium on June 23, 2018 in Launceston, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

"[The] Gold Coast door will soon be closed ... even though that was probably Alastair's club of choice."

With St Kilda's Brett Ratten and Essendon's Ben Rutten both on the coaching hot seat, it would be reasonable to assume North Melbourne - with pressure mounting on the incumbent, David Noble - might also put their hands up for 'Clarko', however, Wilson doesn't see it.

"I don't think David Noble will be coaching North Melbourne next year, but I'm just not sure that North Melbourne would be Alastair's club of preference at the moment," she said.

"Nor would North with their financial issues necessarily be able to afford Clarkson."

Furthermore, the last-placed Kangaroos don't really fit in with Clarkson's premiership timeline, with the 54-year-old recently stating his motivation to return to AFL coaching is "to win it (the flag)".

All that being said, there is still plenty to play out in the race for 'Clarko'.


  1. If the Saints an extension for Ratten, I’ll have to find another team to root for. Ratten’s record with the Saints so far is 32 wins and 28 losses. That’s not the type of record that gets you to finals or wins flags.

    And, as much as I respect Nick Riewoldt, NO the Saints do not need to go for Clarkson. Clarkson’s last three seasons at Hawthorn were no better than Ratten’s. So why trade on 50-50 win coach for another.

    Ratten has traded away good an talented players only to sign injured and out of form players. Chief among them: Hannebery. While the players he’s let go have gone on to flourish at other clubs. He’s also either weak or non-existent in trade periods.

    So, any thoughts as to which team I should support?

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