Clarkson Confesses 'Lure' To Coach Powerhouse AFL Club Is Strong

Alastair Clarkson admits he senses a “significant lure” to coach a powerhouse club like Carlton despite turning the club down a second time, conceding he may not return to senior-level coaching again.

Clarkson will take next year off to consider his future after parting ways with Hawthorn following a glittered 17 years with the club that rendered four premierships.

After sacking David Teague at the end of this season, Carlton launched a bold bid to poach Clarkson, who turned down two separate attempts from the club to convince him to be their next coach.

However, last week’s appointment of highly respected Geelong boss Brian Cook as the Blues’ new CEO led to the notion that Clarkson could potentially still be swayed.

Appearing on Fox Footy’s AFL360, Clarkson confirmed he was approached again by Cook, where he reaffirmed his decision to take 2022 off.

“I spoke to Cooky over the weekend, and I appreciated the call enormously, (I’m) respectful of the process that they’re going through,” he said.

“But I’m sticking to what I said six or eight weeks ago, that I need a spell. I’m just not ready to go flat-out again right now.

“My family and I had always looked at the end of next year as the time we’d make decisions on what we’d do. Now some different circumstances unfolded this year (his early Hawthorn exit) which pushed it forward a little bit earlier than what we first anticipated, but the end of next year was always the time we were going to assess what post-2022 is going to look like.”

Expanding on his conversation with Cook, Clarkson admitted the temptation to coach one of Victoria’s powerhouse clubs like Carlton, Collingwood or Essendon was strong having grown up admiring them in the VFL era.

The 53-year-old then admitted the next 12 months could also reveal he doesn’t have the drive to return to senior-level coaching.

“I said to Cooky on the phone, I grew up in an era where I feel like the best footy – despite what we’ve been through – the best footy, and maybe I was just an impressionable young kid, was the late 70s and early 80s,” he added.

“The Carltons and the Essendons of that period of time, and Collingwood competed, they were bridesmaids a lot. So I couldn’t respect two clubs more than Collingwood and Carlton.

“And the lure to coach those clubs is just, it’s sitting there right in front of your face, do you want to put your hand up to see whether you’d be selected to coach those sides?

“But I wasn’t strong enough to overpower my thinking in terms of what my family and I need right now, and that’s a 12-month spell.

“Now, in that 12 months, I’m quite serious when I’ve said this throughout the course of the year, I might find out that I can’t recharge the batteries and I don’t want to go again, or I think probably it’s in my DNA to want to coach again at the end of next year or the year after.

“But I want to use the next 12 months to try and find that out … I think it’s more likely I get to the end of July or August next year and I can’t wait to get back into it again.”

Clarkson’s stance is all but certain to see Port Adelaide assistant and Brisbane Lions great Michael Voss appointed by Carlton, after it was revealed the club’s coaching selection panel had identified him as their next candidate.

As well as Clarkson, the Blues were in discussions with former Fremantle and St. Kilda coach Ross Lyon before the club opted to go in a different direction. 

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