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Club Statement: Clarkson to resume coaching duties

Hawthorn Coach Alastair Clarkson poses for a photograph during an afl.com.au photo shoot at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne on February 10, 2014. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Alastair Clarkson.
On the advice of specialists Senior Coach Alastair Clarkson will return to the Club in a full-time coaching capacity today, after missing five matches through illness.

The dual premiership coach was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome at the end of May and temporarily stepped down as senior coach from Rounds 11-15 while undergoing his recovery.

In Clarkson’s absence, Assistant Coach Brendon Bolton led the side to five wins from five games.

CEO Stuart Fox said Clarkson has gradually taken on more duties at the Club over the past few weeks.

“In line with medical advice, Alastair has been involved around the Club over the past couple of weeks in a minor capacity while undertaking an active recovery,” Fox said.

“With endorsement from his doctors, Alastair will return to regular full-time coaching duties from today.”

“We’re really pleased Alastair is healthy and ready to return to work as the team embarks on the second half of the 2014 season.”

“The support of Alastair’s family and friends has been crucial to his recovery, and we would like to make special mention of Al’s wife Caryn and their three children Stephanie, Georgia and Matthew for their extra love and care during this period.”

“We have been overwhelmed with the messages we’ve received from our members and fans wishing Alastair well and we thank everyone for their support,” he said.  

Fox thanked Interim Senior Coach Brendon Bolton and the Club’s coaching staff who led the team during Clarkson’s absence.

“The way our coaching team, playing group and football department staff have pulled together under Brendon Bolton’s leadership during Alastair’s absence has been outstanding,” Fox said.

“It is a credit to our people that this period has been managed so professionally and seamlessly, which has been a team effort from all involved,” he said.  

With rearranged responsibilities during Clarkson’s absence, the assistant coaches will now return to their regular duties.