four-time premiership coach – Michmutters

Essendon Bombers v Port Adelaide Power, big loss, record, coach Ben Rutten, Alastair Clarkson, David King, First Crack, fan anger, criticism, AFL standard

The Essendon hierarchy will “rue” the decision not to pursue four-time premiership coach Alastair Clarkson, Fox Footy’s David King has warned as the Bombers hit a new low on Sunday.

Players were booed by their own fans as they left Marvel Stadium after the 84-point loss to fellow non-finals contender Port Adelaide.

King said questions needed to be asked of the decision to implement the Ben Rutten handover from John Worsfold back in 2020.

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“For six months, if not 12 months, Alastair Clarkson has been sitting idle ready to be grabbed by a football club,” King said on First Crack.

“Why haven’t Essendon taken that step?

“Right now they lack system, they lack motivation and they lack standards as a footy club and I reckon the Essendon faithful are sick of it.

“Why are they gambling on a coach that is still developing when the absolute finished product is there?

“OK you’ve got to jump through a lot of hoops to get over the line, but if (Clarkson) signs at North Melbourne this week and Essendon could have got him with the list they’ve got right now, I think it’s a mistake they will rule for years.”

Essendon Press Conference | 03:59

Rutten remains contracted until the end of 2023, but has managed just seven wins this season.

The loss to Port Adelaide is their worst for 2022, and both the worst defeat and the most points conceded under Rutten.

King said matches late in a season showed the faith in a coach and the set up at a club when there was nothing but pride to play for.

“It’s very hard to get motivated and that’s when you find out what sort of football club you’ve got,” he said.

“That’s when you find out, can your coach continue to drive standards and continue to enforce non-negotiables?

“I’m looking at the Essendon hierarchy – are they ruthless enough from the top down?

“The 2020 Worsfold handover year, six and a half wins – Rutten was in charge of the tactical side of the game then. They won 11 games last year, they’ve won six this year.”

King showed vision from the second quarter when Bombers players were walking and allowing their opponents to get forward of the ball.

“This is Essendon in a nutshell,” King lamented.

Port Adelaide Press Conference | 03:57

“How lax is this? Have a look at them just standing around, ambling around. This is the forward 50. There’s 10 players within arms reach of this stoppage. That (game style) is going nowhere.

“I can’t understand what they look at when they review games at the moment if that is the output of a weekend.

“We can only judge the actions they put in front of us – that is not AFL standard.”

King said now was the time for “honest conversations” at the club after 2021’s surprising finals finish.

“I’m not just talking about the captain and vice-captain, I mean the whole football club,” he said.

“These guys have signed Ben Rutten – if they have to assess their own role in the football club and move on well so be it.

“When was the last time Essendon were genuinely ruthless as a football club? It was a long time ago.”

Speaking after the shocking loss, Rutten apologized to the club’s fans for the lack of effort on Sunday.

“It was the sort of game that our members and supporters who came to the game or were watching on TV… it’s not the sort of thing they should have to watch,” he said.

“It was an embarrassing effort from our guys. It’s not something we want to stand for and not something our members and supporters should have to watch at any stage.”



North Melbourne, Alastair Clarkson, coach, return, lengthy offer, contract, GWS Giants, race, David Noble, Leigh Adams

North Melbourne has reportedly tabled a “lengthy offer” to mastercoach Alastair Clarkson for 2023 and beyond.

The Age reports a contract of at least five years has been put to Clarkson to join the Roos and take over from caretaker Leigh Adams.

Fox Footy’s Mark Robinson said he believes the Clarkson-Kangaroos deal is “past the post.”

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“Everyone’s a little bit scared to declare it because Alastair Clarkson has got the ability to change his mind and say: ‘I’m not coaching’,” he said on 3AW.

“But the further this goes on, I find that can’t happen.”

Commentator Tim Lane said a deal between Clarkson and North Melbourne would be “exciting”.

“North Melbourne people will be ecstatic by this,” he said on 3AW.

“For them to get Clarkson back to the club, where he began his career, he also won a premiership in 2008 with a team that won before its time and that should never be forgotten.

McRae reiterates hope to re-sign De Goey | 00:36

“Clarkson’s won four flags – no ones won more since Norm Smith.

“To have him in the firing line and back at that battling club is brilliant.”

North Melbourne and GWS are both vying for four-time premiership coach’s services after he finished up at Hawthorn at the end of 2021.

Both clubs have met with Clarkson in recent weeks, with the Hawks’ mentor set to make a final call before the end of the home and away season.

It is understood the Giants are yet to officially present Clarkson with an offer.

They are reportedly still speaking with other candidates like Adem Yze (Melbourne), Adam Kingsley (Richmond) and their current caretaker Mark McVeigh.

Robinson said he believes Yze is the frontrunner to take the reins at the Giants, while Leigh Matthews said he didn’t think GWS were going as hard as the Roos for Clarkson.

Hinkley set to remain Port coach | 01:01

“North are head hunting Alastair Clarkson,” he said on 3AW.

“I don’t think the Giants are doing that.”

Clarkson has previously said he’d make a call on his future in August, which has just over a fortnight to run.

Former Collingwood president Eddie McGuire said the Roos had gone “all in” trying to sign Clarkson earlier this month, and said the club was a “real chance” of landing his signature.

Clarkson’s manager James Henderson told McGuire that the meeting went “very well” and that it was “a worthwhile experience”.

“There is no Plan B (for North) at the moment,” McGuire said at the time.

North parted ways with former coach David Noble a month ago after just 38 games in charge and Leigh Adams has been caretaker in Noble’s absence.

Just last month reports emerged Clarkson was demanding a whopping $1.6 million a season to return to coaching, but he responded to that by calling the figure “bulls**t”.



Ken Hinkley contract, Port Adelaide coach, sacked, will he be there next year, David Koch interview

Ken Hinkley is renowned for his honesty.

He’s honest to his players, honest to his fans, honest to his assistants and searingly honest to the media when he fronts the cameras each week.

Now, with Hinkley’s contract nearing the end of his tenure, will Port Adelaide deal in honesty as well as its senior coach has over the journey?

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Tigers down Port to keep finals alive | 01:09

If it is time to part ways – and every week suggestions keep bubbling away that it could be – how do Port Adelaide and Hinkley come to terms on a respectful way to end a partnership that has lasted nearly a decade?

Hinkley has to this point dismissed any links with the vacant Greater Western Sydney senior coaching job, let alone North Melbourne’s, and as he said after last Saturday’s loss to Collingwood, “I’ve had a habit of being true to my word”.

Speak to those in and around Port Adelaide, however, and the narrative appears to have shifted.

Where once Hinkley was a guarantee to be coaching the club in 2023, chances to categorically declare that (and there have been plenty) have been passed up in recent weeks.

Hinkley has bristled at questions surrounding his future and understandably was upset at club supporters who stuck a ‘Sack Hinkley’ sign on club property.

Regarding Hinkley’s future, the general belief is that any conversation would have to be initiated or at least welcomed by him – There is simply too much respect between Hinkley and the club for it to get ugly.

The Giants and Leon Cameron proved this year there’s merit in avoiding ‘the long goodbye’ and coming to a somewhat mutual agreement to end things before the fallout becomes too arduous.

Last year, the same situation was faced by Collingwood and Nathan Buckley, with a decades-long partnership ending as cleanly as it possibly could’ve given the length of the relationship.

Cameron’s scenario, in particular, shares echoes with Hinkley.

“The Leon Cameron example sits really heavily,” Gerard Whateley observed on AFL 360 this week.

“Leon went to a final series, won a final, he goes into the last year of a contract where they start poorly and it’s over. You do have to weigh that up.

“I hope if they’re going to do it they do it early enough because he’s a godsend for North Melbourne or the Giants. Don’t do it so late that everything else is done.”

That will cost them at the end’ | 00:51

As things stand, it will all be done in the postscript of 2022 – any possibility of a home Showdown send-off being announced ahead of time are remote, mostly because Hinkley and the club itself seem undecided on what the best move is heading into next year.

From all reports, Hinkley still has the players, while injuries and close losses have made the ladder situation perhaps an unfair reflection on where the side is at.

Still, the reality is Port Adelaide lost its first five matches, recovered, and now has lost four of its last five games.

There have been considerable declines in several key statistics, including points for (from sixth in 2021 to 15th), points from turnovers (sixth to 13th), inside 50 differentials (fifth to 10th) and contested possession differentials (fourth to 10th).

Winnable games against Essendon and Adelaide will close out the season and all focus is on the final fortnight, but it’s hard to imagine the results won’t have at least some influence on how the club sees itself heading into next year.

Also as big a question for Port Adelaide would have to be: If Ken goes out, who comes in?

Perhaps the easy first option would be Alastair Clarkson, but the Power are a few meetings behind North Melbourne and Greater Western Sydney in that race already.

The Power could easily appeal to Clarkson’s sense of coming full circle given the four-time premiership coach spent a couple of years there as an assistant coach, including their run to the 2004 premiership under Mark Williams.

Clarkson understands what it means to represent Port Adelaide, much like Hinkley has learned in his time at the club.

Then there’s the likes of Adam Kingsley, Ashley Hansen and Adem Yze, who lead a pack of assistant coaches just waiting for their opportunity to lead an AFL side, with Craig McRae a prime example of how well such a move could work.

Speaking on Monday, club president David Koch insisted post-season deliberations will not center squarely on Hinkley, but did nothing to suggest the winds of change won’t be sweeping through the club this off-season.

“It’s not just about one individual person. It’s the whole program. Turn it around or watch out,” he told FIVEaa.

“Because every single person’s role will be assessed at the end of the year, as we do each year. But this year is more important than ever and we are not afraid to make change. We have made plenty of changes.

“We have got to win games and we know that is what we exist to do.

“We will be making those hard decisions at the end of the year across the entire program to make us better next year.”

Whatever happens next deserves to happen on Hinkley’s terms, such has been his incredible contribution to the club for such a long period of time.

And if anyone is truer to their word about their belief they’re the best person to take Port Adelaide forward or to hand over the reigns, it’s Hinkley.



North Melbourne all bid for Alastair Clarkson, meeting, Eddie McGuire report, future, GWS Giants, coaching great, latest

North Melbourne has gone “all in” on trying to sign Alastair Clarkson as their next senior coach, according to former Collingwood president Eddie McGuire.

Clarkson is currently being courted by both North and Greater Western Sydney, but McGuire believes the Kangaroos are “a real chance” of landing the four-time premiership coach.

North parted ways with former coach David Noble a month ago after just 38 games in charge and Leigh Adams has been caretaker in Noble’s stead.

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“Alastair Clarkson has met with Sonja Hood, the president of the North Melbourne Football Club,” McGuire told Channel 9.

Clarkson’s manager James Henderson told McGuire that the meeting went “very well” and that it was “a worthwhile experience”.

The former Hawthorn coach plans to meet with the Kangaroos again, as well as the Giants, in the coming fortnight.

“North Melbourne have gone all in on Alastair Clarkson, there is no Plan B at the moment,” McGuire said.

“If he doesn’t go (to North) they’ll come up with a Plan B, but they’ve shown that they want him.”

McGuire believes that Clarkson is now seriously contemplating coaching again next year, rather than waiting until 2024 to re-enter the fray.

The Roos are going hard at Clarkson (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)Source: Getty Images


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“His management have said, ‘You know you don’t have to coach next year?’ And I think he’s thought, ‘You know what? I’m a coach, so I’m going to coach’, and North are now a real chance I reckon to maybe land this bloke,” McGuire said.

“But he wants to bring his own team, and I think he’s put his team together and part of his thinking might well be do they all want to live in GWS? Or can we do this at North Melbourne?

“There’s a bit going on in this story but there’s no doubt the list at GWS attracts Alastair Clarkson, but the romance and maybe the practicalities mean that he could well be the coach of North Melbourne.”

North have not interviewed anyone else for their vacant coaching job, according to McGuire.

“Until he says, ‘No,’ Clarkson’s the man,” McGuire said.

Former St Kilda and Fremantle coach Ross Lyon liked the Kangaroos’ “singular focus” in their approach.

“They really need to go all in, it’s a really good sign,” Lyon said.

“If he can bring his key people… those real pillars of success around him, he knows what needs to be done, he knows who to bring.

“It’s a super plan and I think he gets time there. No one expected them to make the eight, they’ve got green shoots, they’ve got a young midfield.

“He’ll build a great environment.”



Sydney Swans v GWS Giants, Mark McVeigh, coach, job, Alastair Clarkson, vacant position, brutally honest, checked out, embarrassing loss, criticism, Nick Riewoldt

Mark McVeigh’s brutally honest assessment that his players “checked out” in the 73-point Sydney derby loss could cost him the Giants’ senior coaching job, Fox Footy’s Nick Riewoldt has warned.

McVeigh did not hold back in his post-match criticism, as he labeled the performance “embarrassing” and “extremely disappointing”, while stating only eight players “went to the wall” for four quarters.

Speaking about McVeigh’s stunning statement, Riewoldt said he feared the comments could cost the caretaker coach the full-time gig in 2023.

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“I think it puts a line through it (his coaching aspirations at GWS),” he said on Best on Ground.

“If that’s the concession that you’re making as a coach, that you think some of your players have checked out and you are responsible for getting the players up every week, I think it becomes very difficult for the club to say: ‘You ‘re the man going forward’.”

McVeigh remains in the running for the full-time job next season, reportedly alongside four-time premiership coach Alastair Clarkson, Melbourne’s Adem Yze and Richmond’s Adam Kingsley.

Fellow panelist and former Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley said he admired McVeigh’s honesty.

“That’s the first time I’ve heard those comments,” he said.

“That’s as honest as you can get.

GWS Giants press conference | 10:43

“That comment… I love to see that because that is absolutely honest. If that’s his opinion of him, and you’ve got to take that at face value, it’s a real challenge.

The Giants were smashed in all the stats that mattered, down -117 in disposals, -33 in inside 50s and -24 in tackles – including laying just six inside 50 for the match.

Riewoldt said the result isn’t a direct reflection on McVeigh’s ability as a coach, but raised questions about his connection with the players.

“It doesn’t mean that he can’t coach. But the ability to get this group up … how can the Giants, if they think the players have checked out under his coaching, how can they have confidence to make that appointment?” Riewoldt said.

“I think it puts them in a really difficult position to go and appoint him after that.”

Buckley said he now wanted to see what sort of response the Giants players had in the clash with Essendon.

why? Preuss FLATTENS Rowbottom | 00:23

“The next couple of weeks will be what tells you about Mark McVeigh’s bona fides as a coach and his connection with those players because they will respond to that? Because there’s always something to play for,” he said.

“The response is going to say more than the comment.”

Earlier this month, McVeigh confirmed he would enter the race to become the Giants coach for 2023 and beyond.

(The club hierarchy) have been very open with me and terrific, they’ve been amazing and they’ve supported me,” he said.

“There are other coaches that they’ll be talking to, which is absolutely right (to do), and I’m just another one of those that are trying to win the role.

“I certainly know where it sits and I’m very clear on the approach going forward.”

GWS will face Essendon, the Western Bulldogs and Fremantle in the final three rounds.