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Clarko hungry for more

JLT2: Clarkson Post-Match Press Conference Alastair Clarkson spoke post-match about the loss to the Blues.

Hawks President Jeff Kennett says coach Alastair Clarkson is as “fired up” as ever as the four-time premiership coach plots to propel the Hawks back into the finals in 2018.

Speaking to SEN Breakfast on Tuesday morning, Kennett said Clarkson was far from content with the Hawthorn’s four flags from the last 10 seasons and was as driven as ever to have the side again challenge for more silverware. 

“His legacy isn’t finished yet, he’s on a journey,” Kennett said.

“He is so fired up, I can tell you what, he wants to have a legacy that he can build something up and he can win and drop away again and win, drop away and come back.”

“He wants to be the repeat, the three-time repeat, and there’s every chance he can do it.”

Kennett, who returned as club president ahead of the 2018 season after stepping down in 2011, hailed Clarkson’s ambition and determination to continually improve, declaring him the best-educated coach anywhere in the country.

“He is the best educated coach of any code in Australia,” he said.

“At the end of every year he goes overseas, he takes in extra training, he goes and looks at other facilities, he talks to people of other codes – there is no other coach in any sport in Australia who is as well educated, prepared as Alastair Clarkson.”

Read: Five talking points: JLT2

Renowned as one of the game’s more innovative coaches over his so-far 13 seasons with the Hawks, Kennett said the way in which Clarkson continued to evolve the Hawks game plan would be something to excite fans going into a new season.

“Alastair changes game style and patterns and the interesting thing is whether he will this year, or next year, be able to do the same thing, and that in one sense is as exciting as anything else,” he told SEN.

With Clarkson contracted at the club for another two seasons, Kennett said he hoped the veteran coach remained at the Hawks well beyond 2019.

“I hope he stays there for a long time, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,” the club president said.

“Suffice to say his legacy has not been fully developed which must be a worry to every other coach.”

Meanwhile Kennett also touched on the club’s future in Tasmania, reaffirming the club’s desire to continue their partnership with the state long-term.

“We want to stay there,” Kennet said.

“Now I can’t say what will happen in 30 years’ time, but I can say in the immediate future everything we’re doing at Hawthorn is to stay there.”

The President said both the Hawks and North Melbourne would be able to continue to maintain their arrangements with the state, playing games in Launceston and Hobart, respectively.

“I have spoken to Richard Goyder, the new chairman of the AFL commission, and to Gil and I have said to them both, ‘look, stop all this talk about whether Hawthorn’s going to be there or you want to remove us from Tassie,”

“The state can support the two, north and south, let’s just get on and continue to focus on those things in the league that aren’t working well and resolve those.”

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs