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AFL News: Clarkson to splash money on North signings, Blues can regroup after collapse, Riewoldt backs Kingsley


Incoming North Melbourne manager Alastair Clarkson continued to unveil his vision for the Kangaroos, admitting he was already speaking with potential signings.

Clarkson says he has “crossed paths with one or two” players from other clubs, although he added that neither discussion had been very thorough.

But when asked if he would be targeting players he has coached as well as experienced talent to bolster the young roster, Clarkson confirmed he was interested but would also be looking for existing Kangaroos players to step up. .

“I think a couple will help,” he told Fox Sports.

“We need some guys around that 27, 28 bracket… but some of the guys like (Aidan) Corr and (Ben) McKay and even (Nick) Larkey, those guys are kind of in their mid-20s and in a few years…these will be the guys you build your club around.

(Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

North has previously been linked with former Clarkson players Bradley Hill, who has three years left to sign a big deal at St Kilda, and Jack Gunston, who is a free agent.

They will also be bolstered by the return of inside midfielder Ben Cunnington, who played one game in 2022 while battling testicular cancer.

The Kangaroos are also hoping to retain No. 1 draft pick Jason Horne-Francis, who has been linked with a return to his home state of South Australia despite only spending a year with him. the team.

Clarkson said he hasn’t spoken with Horne-Francis yet, but saw his difficult first season as an opportunity to grow.

“He was probably a star throughout his juniors and he came into an environment where they weren’t doing so well, he wasn’t reaching the levels he was so used to throughout his junior career.

“It’s going to be a great learning year for him and hopefully with a bit of guidance, another pre-season, a realization that despite being the first pick in the draft, this game is quite difficult.

“He has a long journey ahead of him, hopefully all at North Melbourne Football Club.”

Clarkson also addressed rumors that he would be bringing a number of backroom staff with him to North Melbourne, saying they were not accurate.

But he said he would like to bring former Melbourne great Todd Viney to the club in a director of football role.

“It’s important that you have a very strong team around you but it’s not going to be a huge team, all this speculation about a whole increase in staff in North Melbourne and the arrival of a whole new team of people is not not really fair. ,” he said.

“We will try to bring a few people to North Melbourne, but overall the improvement of this football club is going to come with the people who are already there.”

Alastair Clarkson poses for a photo.

Alastair Clarkson. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

Carlton can bounce back, says CEO

Carlton is in shock after throwing away his place in the AFL final in catastrophic fashion, but chief executive Brian Cook will hope the heartbreak can hold the Blues in good stead.

Carlton has sat in the top eight all season and looked set to end a nine-year drought in the Finals.

Then, in the space of nine days, the Blues slipped to an ultimate defeat against Melbourne, before capitulating at Collingwood by a point on Sunday.

The Blues led by 24 points in three quarters, but kicked the Magpies 0.6 to 5.1 in the final quarter to send their rivals into the top four, while falling outside the eight themselves.

“It really hurts right now. We went back to Ikon Park last night, the families, the players, the staff. The players are completely devastated – we’re all really devastated,” Cook told SEN Breakfast on Monday.

“We wanted to play football in the final, we fought very hard to do so, but we didn’t succeed.

“At the end of the day, at the end of the day, we messed up a few games, we didn’t play well in the key moments, the most responsible moments and we have to live with that. You have to live with that for a while.

Blues' Zac Williams and Adam Saad look dejected as Magpies' Jordan De Goey and Nick Daicos celebrate.

Blues’ Zac Williams and Adam Saad look dejected as Magpies’ Jordan De Goey and Nick Daicos celebrate. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

“I don’t think we will forget this moment and hopefully it will be a motivation for years to come.”

Cook was at Geelong when Sydney’s Nick Davis broke their hearts in 2005, before the Cats had their own breakthrough in 2007.

“While at the time (these times are) devastating, they develop a kind of resilience,” he said.

“It happens for a reason and as long as we can learn from what’s happened in the last few weeks in particular, then it’s worth it.

“But right now it’s really hard to be rational about these things. We’re still wiping the dirt off our knees right now and trying to think about where we’re going from here. here.

Cook felt Carlton’s season was generally positive, noting that they beat four of the top eight teams and lost by less than a goal on three occasions. “There’s capability there and there’s talent there,” he said.

Riewoldt praises Kingsley

Former St Kilda champion Nick Riewoldt says he has learned more about the online game before from new GWS coach Adam Kingsley than any other AFL mentor.

It’s high praise from a man who scored 467 goals before Kinglsey joined the Saints in 2011 as an assistant coach before ending his career with 716 majors.

Riewoldt was a voice in a wave of approval when the Giants announced Kingsley had won the role on Monday after a 15-year coaching apprenticeship finally landed him a leadership job.

Kingsley will be unveiled as GWS coach on Tuesday, a moment that will continue to please his former protege.

“When I heard the news, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face,” Riewoldt told Fox Sports.

“I am really very happy for Adam, he has had a most remarkable apprenticeship.

“He came to St Kilda at a time when, as a player and a group, (we) needed fresh minds, new voices.

“He taught me more about the forward game and the forward craft than any other coach I had had at any stage.

“For a guy who played mainly in the back pocket and in midfield, I think that says a lot about his ability to see all parts of the game.

“An excellent communicator, an excellent motivator will be able to take on strong challenges and understand what it takes to bring a great team together.”

Collingwood coach Craig McRae was another delighted high-profile figure for Kingsley, having coached with him at Richmond.

McRae has had an equally long wait for a senior role, but if his stellar first season with the Magpies is anything to go by, the Giants could be onto a winner.

“I’m thrilled for ‘Kingers’…he’s had a long apprenticeship, like me, I think 15 years in the system,” McRae told Fox Sports.

“I worked with him for three or four years at Richmond, he’s going to be a huge asset to GWS.

“He’s got a huge footy, a huge footy brain and he’s a strong leader.”

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