Ross Lyon says Collingwood need to land outgoing Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson

Samantha RogersThe West Australian
Former AFL coach Ross Lyon says Collingwood ‘need’ to land Alastair Clarkson, after the four-time Hawthorn premiership coach announced his departure from the Hawks at the end of 2021. 
Camera IconFormer AFL coach Ross Lyon says Collingwood ‘need’ to land Alastair Clarkson, after the four-time Hawthorn premiership coach announced his departure from the Hawks at the end of 2021.  Credit: Jonathan DiMaggio/AFL Photos/via AFL Photos

Former Fremantle and St Kilda coach Ross Lyon says Collingwood “need” to land Alastair Clarkson, after the four-time Hawthorn premiership coach announced his departure from the Hawks at the end of 2021.

Speculation about Clarkson’s future has been rampant since a succession plan involving premiership captain Sam Mitchell came to light.

The 53-year-old is contracted until the end of 2022 and initially revealed he would stay at Hawthorn to mentor Mitchell in his first year at the helm of the club.

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But on Friday, Clarkson revealed he would be stepping away at season’s end.

Ross Lyon, who coached 305 games for St Kilda and Fremantle, said he “didn’t like” how Hawthorn handled the departure of the man who lead the club to four premierships and is considered by many as the greatest-ever AFL coach.

“I thought it was borderline disrespectful for what he’s achieved for the club,” Lyon told Triple M.

“Jeff Kennett, I think it’s not his finest moment.”

Alastair Clarkson and Sam Mitchell.
Camera IconAlastair Clarkson and Sam Mitchell. Credit: Steve Bell/AFL Photos/via AFL Photos

Lyon said the messy split had put a lot of pressure on a “rookie” coach (Mitchell) to deliver for Hawthorn supporters.

But Clarkson’s departure opens the door for his career to continue at another club.

“Alastair Clarkson is available and at the moment there’s one club, which is Collingwood, that is looking for a coach,” he said.

“I don’t know how they can’t land him. The president needs to land him.

“I don’t think there’s any choice here.”

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