Coach Hawthorn Alastair Clarkson sent an address in 13 minutes to start his weekly press conference, drawing on all aspects of his life and career in the game to re-emphasize his commitment to stay at the club until the end current contract.
The Hawks recently announced the transfer of coaching to Sam Mitchell at the end of next year, which has prompted considerable skepticism about Clarkson’s commitment to stay at the club beyond this year.
In front of the media on Friday morning, Clarkson opened his press conference with a lengthy speech – Read the full transcript below.
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CLARKO’s COMMUNICATION ADDRESS
“I have never been someone who wants to be in the media and reveal my inner self to the wider football community – that is for myself and my family, my friends, the players. in our club.
“But it’s probably worth it for people to know in this particular context, what happened in the last two or three weeks, what prompted this whole situation around Hawthorn’s transition from coach mine to Sam.
“It was probably a bit disappointing that it had to turn out the way it was, because we were in a really unfortunate situation where Sam Mitchell, who was going to be the football club’s next coach, was hey, it has to be a really exciting period for both him and us as a club.
“Even for me, who, despite transitioning into senior coaching, the club couldn’t be more delighted to learn that another product of our wet foot club will become a coach. senior coach in the AFL after 2022.
“That’s exciting, this is the first time all these people have joined our coaching program at Hawthorn, this is the first time it has happened where the coach has been mentored in our system. I actually became the coach of this program. and that’s because I’m leaving at the end of next year.
“My commitment to this wet foot club, has happened I think on six different occasions that I have signed for this club, and on each of those occasions, it has been real. sick or in a state of health, we will continue until the end of the contract.
“And in a lot of cases, when we went through this journey, we were in a really healthy position. But similarly, just like in life, there will come a time when it’s going to be a challenge and it’s a challenge for us at the moment about where we stand on the ladder, but we know where we’re going. as a solid club.
“And we know what needs to be done in terms of where we want to go over the next three to five years in positioning our club to return to the bottom of the ladder and compete for silver titles. Perhaps that commitment is in the AFL’s push and expectation that once I’m no longer coach of Hawthorn football club at the end of next year, skeptics have said ‘Oh, he’s going to move on’ go immediately’, no, it’s sickness or health for me.
“I will go on and do this role until the end of next year. My relationship with Sam has lasted 17 years and is about to turn 18. I owe a huge debt to this leggy club for the opportunity to coach this great club.
“When I hit the road, I thought if I could survive my first contract it would be a great blow to the state of our club at the time. It’s unbelievable what we’ve been able to achieve in the last 16 or 17 years.
“But because of that I have constant relationships with a lot of people, of which six are particularly important to that and they are the captains we have at this club… Those relationships with those captains are really, really important to me.
“The relationships with our coaches, who have helped mentor so many of our players on this journey, are really important to me. That’s why I still have really, really strong relationships with Chris Fagan’s and Adam Simpson’s and Luke Beveridge’s and Damien Hardwick’s and the list goes on.
“They were so mean in allowing us through the ups and downs that inevitably come your way, but also in the footy AFL, it was a really, really tough, challenging environment.
“Mitch and I have had a really, really strong relationship over the past 17 years, that will continue. Probably the mistake we both made…we were hoping as best we could that this would be business as usual, but let’s deal with what’s going on here for us. can inform the outside world and our members that this will be the transition that takes place by the end of 2022.
“We understand that there will be speculation, ‘will Clarkson move and what does it mean,’ I laugh in a way because if they say that they don’t really get to know me, that’s what I do. trying to portray today. I will clearly see my commitment, I have always been. Whether it is in marriage or business or work.
“I remember when I got married, we didn’t know where the journey would take us, but she married me at a time when I was especially vulnerable because I had just lost my brother in a car accident. steam and me. was not in a great space in my late teens and early 20s. But that journey took us to Adelaide for four years.
“My wife didn’t know a spirit when we arrived in Adelaide but she was prepared for the journey. We took us on a really sad, sad journey when we lost a brother-in-law to brain cancer. There were a lot of challenges we had to deal with over a period of time and that’s what I’m talking about ups and downs.
“Once you commit to someone, you stick with it and my commitment to Sam Mitchell lasts until the end of next year. That commitment was to Sam, it was to his wife Lyndall and to his three children.
“That commitment was made 17 years ago when I walked in the door of the Hawthorn foot club and Sam gave me back a lot of money. Now it’s my turn to try to help him become a senior coach, to help him be the best he can be, to help Lyndall – she has perhaps the most challenging role for equity, to can try and manage family life in a position that requires a lot of dedication and a lot of scrutiny.
“Maybe the mistake Mitch and I made in hindsight, in our haste to try to keep things as normal as possible, we said, ‘Mitch, I’ll take care of each day’ and he She said, ‘Yes, I’ll take care of the future,’ and in theory at the time, it seemed pretty good.
“But what it creates are little vaults in the sense that he will take care of the future and I will take care of the present but there is just so much gray between those vaults that we have to try to accommodate about .
“All the talk about reconciliation – I see Mitch every day. I did the same again this morning, I did it yesterday. We have been doing so every day for the past two weeks. And this supposed mediation – the one we had with Ray McLean and Rob McCartney was practically using Ray’s great experience in the game. Ironically, along the way, he is associated with two transitions that are not too different from this one and that of the Buckley-Malthouse transition and also the Longmire-Roos transition.
“We had Ray really there to help us try to navigate what we were going to do.
“What we’ve realized in the last week is that it’s not that I should really be looking after what is happening at the club every day and it’s not that Sam should be solely responsible for what is going to happen in the future. future. It’s Sam and I taking care of what’s going to happen now and in the future. That will last until the end of 2022.
“I hope the club will be in a better position at that time to show the world of football but more importantly, our members and supporters that the direction we are going and the children are going. The road that we want to cross in the next few years is going in the right direction for our long-legged club,.
“Ideally I would love for our supporters, our members and even the wider football community to applaud Sam Mitchell for his involvement at our club. I. In today’s game, he is truly an iconic Hall of Famer, which he will join when he qualifies in the not-too-distant future. And this is another chance for him to make a huge contribution to the game going forward and he has my full support.
“He’s had it for 17 years despite what has been said for the last four weeks, he’s had it for the next 18+ months really because of the relationship that I have with Mitchell’s and Roughead’s and Hodge’s.. These people are really important in my life and although my time at the foothill club Hawthorn will end as senior coach by the end of next year, I want those relationships. those are lifelong and they are really important relationships for me and Karen during the last time that I was at a strong club, I want to continue to be.
“Sam is no different from that. If we can help him and Lyndall and their three beautiful kids, if we can help them in any way we can, in due time, you know 12 to 16 months or whatever maybe to move into a senior coaching role, we’ll do it together.
“It will be as smooth as possible that we can make it. Yes, there will be a bit of tension along the way, but we will do it together. I don’t know of any marriages, I don’t know of any business partnerships or anything along the way where there’s no healthy tension about discussing the way forward and how you should. do and I welcome that.
“We have never been behind in speaking our mind about our solid club within the club’s walls, knowing that there is trust and respect and whatever we say, we all obey and push ourselves and bring others along with us.
“So that would make no difference.”
https://www.foxsports.com.au/afl/afl-news-2021-alastair-clarkson-press-conference-video-crying-full-transcript-hawthorn-coach-handover-sam-mitchell-relationship-jeff-kennett/news-story/022104293d3a6a2cfd05032a7e31ba05 | Alastair Clarkson press conference, video, crying, full transcript, Hawthorn coach handover, Sam Mitchell relationship, Jeff Kennett