Hawks sign Clarkson for three more years - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hawks sign Clarkson for three more years

By Sam Lienert 13/05/2008 06:08:53 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn are confident they have the key elements in place in their quest for a 10th AFL premiership after signing up coach Alastair Clarkson until the end of 2011.

Clarkson's new three-year deal comes with the Hawks unbeaten in second spot on the ladder, after he guided them to their first finals series in six years last season, his third season in charge.

The coach's commitment follows captain Sam Mitchell and star forward Lance Franklin both signing on until the end of 2010 earlier this year.

The Hawks' strong start to the season has them seen as the main contender to Geelong's crown and chief executive Ian Robson said it was no secret that they believed they were heading in the right direction for premiership success.

"That's obviously why we do what we do," Robson said.

"We've made it plain that is our intent and resolve.

"It's not hollow, it's backed up by the results on the field and the governance off the field."

While there had been criticism of the Hawks for heading into the season as the only club without their coach contracted for 2009, Robson said they had been working to their own timetable.

"It was always in the back of our minds that the break at round seven presented a little window of opportunity to have some conversations without the distractions of preparing for a game on the weekend," he said.

"We brought discussions to a head last week and quickly agreed on a way forward, that was confirmed over the weekend and the documents were signed today."

Clarkson has overseen the rebuilding of the list, with numerous senior players traded away or delisted during his time in favour of drafting talented youngsters.

Robson said the hierarchy had also made a series of "bold" decisions over that time, including to appoint Clarkson as an untried coach in 2005 and reappoint him in mid-2006, despite Hawthorn being in a slump at the time.

"We had lost three, four or five games in a row, we received a lot of criticism, not just about the decision but about the timing," Robson said.

"This year we were criticised for not doing it earlier, but we don't do things the media's way.

"The Hawks' way was doing it quietly behind the scenes."

Robson also pointed to the decisions to play four home games per season in Tasmania and to move their home base from Glenferrie to Waverley.

"We want to position this club at the forefront of the league on and off the field and ultimately to have success on grand final day, that is where we are putting every ounce of energy that we bring to the table," he said.

Clarkson was delighted with the faith shown by the Hawks.

"Four years ago we started a journey towards the club's 10th premiership," Clarkson said.

"The club has taken many bold decisions along the way and I look forward to continuing to play an important part in delivering this to the Hawthorn football club and its members.

"Whilst we have made a strong start to the 2008 season, both the playing group and coaching staff understand what is necessary to continue to build towards being the most competitive that we can be."

Clarkson's re-signing means every AFL club's head coach is locked in for next year at least.

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