As many as eight AFL clubs have already contacted Premier Alastair Clarkson’s four-time coach over his availability next year, reports the Sun Herald.
The legendary Hawks boss is expected to be the most in-demand figure in football after taking a year off from training following his 17-season golden stint at Waverley.
And the report says Clarkson, who returned from the United States this week after spending time in professional sports organizations, including the Golden State Warriors with his friend and coach Steve Kerr, exploring business interests and undertaking studies, intends to coach at the AFL club again in 2o23. .
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It is believed that Clarkson will wait until July or August to make progress with clubs, where he is then expected to meet up to three teams who could be perfect for next year.
Clarkson would surely be most motivated by the pursuit of a fifth premiership, although helping a club rebuild as a legacy could also be appealing.
He could also be looking to get the biggest paycheck – although any suitors would likely offer him around $1 million a season.
St Kilda great Nick Riewoldt told Fox Footy’s AFL360 last month that “14 clubs would be fools not to ask the question” of Clarkson, before naming the GWS Giants and Gold Coast Suns as its most likely landing spots.
The 14th-ranked Suns are the club Clarkson has always been linked to, having struggled for a long time since joining the AFL in 2012. Veteran journalist Caroline Wilson reported earlier this year that the AFL “wants” he coaches in Gold Coast, while one of his daughters lives in Queensland.
The league could further boost his salary at the Suns with an AFL ambassadorship as the face of football in Queensland.
The Giants are another clear contender for Clarkson following the club’s 2-5 start to the season as coach Leon Cameron’s nine-year tenure looks likely to come to an end.
Still boasting an exciting roster with a strong mix of star power and elite young talent, GWS could offer Clarkson a shot at immediate success, while also being well placed in the long run.
The 18th West Coast Eagles have suddenly emerged as a contender amid the club’s horror season which has been brutalized by players going into health and safety and injury protocols.
But it also comes during a transitional period for the Eagles, and one wonders if Adam Simpson, in his ninth year at the helm, is the man to lead this rebuild.
Port Adelaide is another logical contender after a disappointing year at Alberton.
Despite winning their last two games, the club started the season 0-5 after back-to-back preliminary final appearances as pressure mounts on Ken Hinkley in his 10th year in charge.
The aforementioned four clubs may just need a change of scenery, and what better coach to get it going than the mastermind himself Clarkson?
North of Melbourne and Essendon it wasn’t until 2021 that David Noble and Ben Rutten were installed as their respective senior coaches. But with both clubs stumbling this year, and arguably the greatest manager of the modern era on the market, they’d be fools not to at least ask the question – likewise. st Kilda despite his hot 5-2 start to 2022.
Clarkson admitted the AFL360 Last September there was ‘significant lure’ to coach powerful clubs like Carlton or Collingwood, both of whom were looking for new senior bosses at the time, potentially putting the Bombers in a more favorable position against other teams if they joined the race.
Adelaide is another club that may be careless not to at least launch informal inquiries, but the club needs to be dynamic in its leadership and development under third-year coach Matthew Nicks.
Joining Dew, Cameron and St Kilda’s Ratten out of contract are Geelong’by Chris Scott and melbourne‘s Simon Goodwin, although the two are closing in on new deals.
It may all depend on which club moves fastest on their outgoing manager to start the formal process with Clarkson, and thus get ahead of their rivals.
Of course, at the helm of the league’s potential 19th license in Tasmania could be the perfect marriage. Clarkson worked on the Tasmanian AFL task force after all. But his entry into the competition remains up in the air, and if that happens, it probably won’t be until 2028.
AFL chief Gillon McLachlan proposed earlier this year that senior coaching salaries could be exempt from the salary cap to help clubs manage the $6.5million soft cap.
The soft cap is expected to increase to $500,000 this year, but clubs that go over are expected to be taxed heavily — 200% per dollar in year one, 300% in year two and 400% in year two. third year – meaning teams looking to break the bank for Clarkson would be heavily taxed.
Clarkson is being paid about $900,000 this year by Hawthorn as part of a settlement reached after accelerating his estate plan a year earlier with Sam Mitchell.