Alastair Clarkson, a four-time premiership-winning coach, has ended weeks of speculation, confirming he will take over at North Melbourne in 2023.
In a club announcement, the Kangaroos said an agreement was reached on Thursday night on a five-year contract.
Clarkson’s decision to join the Kangaroos muddies the waters in Essendon, who were chasing Clarkson to replace Ben Rutten.
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Clarkson previously coached Hawthorn for 17 seasons, winning premierships in 2008, as well as the 15/14/2013 treble.
The Kangaroos have endured a tough few years, having not played football in the final since 2016. Only an unlikely victory this weekend would prevent them from claiming a second straight wooden spoon.
Clarkson will be the fourth manager in five years at North Melbourne, returning to the club where he played 93 games between 1987 and 1995.
“I cannot praise enough the professionalism of Alastair and his manager James Henderson over the past four weeks,” club chairman Sonja Hood wrote in a letter to members.
Clarkson calls a blow for the Bombers
“We’ve had a crash course in getting to know each other and Alastair’s passion for bringing our club back to where we belong is incredibly infectious.
“Today is a good day. Alastair is coming home. Home.”
North Melbourne great David King says Clarkson’s appointment is the start of an exciting new chapter for the club.
“Can I say well done Sonja Hood. She was prepared for the backlash that was going to come if the attempt failed,” King told SEN..
“It’s a huge day for North Melbourne Football Club. Welcome home Alastair.
“Hopefully he can fix what has been a chaotic situation for the past two years.
“It’s so good. So good for the Kangas. Essendon will be all the talk, but it’s a big day for North Melbourne.”
Fellow club legend Corey McKernan told SEN that Clarkson’s appointment is a fantastic end to a difficult year, one that has seen constant speculation about the long-term future of No. 1 draft pick Jason. Horne-Francis, who was dropped last week for disciplinary reasons. the reasons.
“It’s just a huge boost for the footy club,” McKernan said.
“You talk about hope for the fans, what about the players? What’s going on with the rumors with Jason Horne-Francis and some of the other players.
“Suddenly, now that Clarko is here, I imagine that dramatically changes the conversation and the narrative around what’s going to happen with North Melbourne Football Club.”
Meanwhile, Gillon McLachlan assured fans that the AFL had no role in Clarkson’s decision.
Clarkson is likely to earn around $1 million per season, which is a good chunk of the club’s soft cap of around $7 million.
Earlier this month, McLachlan reported that ambassador payments may be available for the club that landed the premiership-winning coach.
“I’m looking forward to addressing this,” McLachlan told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.
“There was talk around the place around ambassador stuff, I think maybe people were thinking that for Greater Western Sydney.
“It’s exactly as I said, I think on your show, that Alastair had to make the decision based on what the clubs offered him and we had no part in that.”
McLachlan said the league isn’t contributing a penny to Clarkson’s contract.
“No, zero,” he said.
Clarkson will officially take over from interim coach Leigh Adams on November 1.
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