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Clarkson looks set to say no to Demons

19/08/2011 06:21:23 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne's interest in Alastair Clarkson looks certain to be spurned, with the Hawthorn coach set to knock back any Demons deal to stay with his finals-bound AFL club.

The Demons are believed to have put Clarkson on top of their coaching wishlist.

A report in The Age on Friday said the Hawks' premiership coach has been offered a five-year deal at Melbourne.

But the Demons' circling may just prove circle work, with Clarkson expected to remain at the Hawks regardless of Melbourne's intent.

Hawthorn have steadfastly refused to re-sign Clarkson before the end of the season, though a deal is believed to be closer than anyone will publicly admit.

And the spinning AFL coaching-go-round could well force the Hawks' hand on Clarkson sooner rather than later to avoid any further uncertainty.

Rodney Eade's exit this week from the Western Bulldogs leaves three clubs without fulltime coaches, and a host of hands pointing skywards for the vacant roles.

Bulldogs caretaker coach Paul Williams said he was ready for a showdown with favourite Leon Cameron for the Dogs' top job.

Williams, who will guide the Bulldogs for the final three weeks of the season after Eade's departure, believes Hawthorn assistant Cameron's favouritism would not necessarily translate into victory.

"Favourite for the job is for you guys (media) to talk about I suppose," Williams said.

"I'm friendly with Leon, we're quite good mates, and whichever way the thing goes, it goes."

Williams, a 300-game player at Collingwood and Sydney who has spent four years as an assistant at Melbourne and the Bulldogs, believes he is the right man for the fulltime job.

But he said he would need time to implement his style at the club if selected.

"I believe the apprenticeship I've had, the coaches I've had have all played in premierships or as a coach (won premierships), I know what you need to do for success," said Williams, a 2005 premiership player himself with the Swans.

"I think I've got a good knowledge base.

"I'll bring in the modern game, the modern feel, and make sure the guys play with the intensity that's needed.

"I'm very comfortable with the way my game plan would stack up, but I'd need a whole six months to implement it completely."

Williams only wants the Bulldogs' job.

He emphatically ruled himself out of the Demons or Adelaide posts to concentrate on his mini-job interview with the Bulldogs.

While Eade would appear an ideal fit at Melbourne, fashion may also play a role in filling the three vacancies.

AFL coaching's new black is upwardly mobile assistant coaches just out of the game like the Scott brothers, or former club champions like James Hird, Michael Voss and Nathan Buckley.

That would give Cameron - a former Bulldogs star and fan favourite - a huge advantage at Whitten Oval on both counts.

While Adelaide's interim coach Mark Bickley also fits those criteria for the Crows, so too does former champion and current Essendon assistant Simon Goodwin.

He has talked down his interest in the Crows job, but his work with the Bombers in his first season is highly-rated.

West Coast's Scott Burns, Collingwood's Mark Neeld, Carlton's Alan Richardson and Gold Coast's former Geelong assistant Ken Hinkley are others who could come into the running for the vacant jobs.

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