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Alastair Clarkson rejects last-ditch Carlton coaching move


Alastair Clarkson today told incoming Carlton chief executive Brian Cook he did not want to coach the club next year.

Cook spoke to Clarkson on Monday, with the four-time premiership coach maintaining he wanted to have a year off coaching in the AFL.

Clarkson and his manager James Henderson have repeatedly said the Hawthorn great will take 2022 off for personal development.

Carlton chiefs had still held out some hope of luring Clarkson to Ikon Park – a hope reinforced by the appointment of Cook as CEO - but Monday’s conversation snuffed out any remaining chance.

Clarkson broke his silence on the issue on Monday night's episode of AFL 360, saying he was determined to stick to his word and have a year off.

“I spoke to Cooky over the weekend and I appreciated the call enormously. I’m respectful of the process they’re going through, but I’m sticking to what I said 6-8 weeks ago – I need a spell,” Clarkson said.

“I’m just not ready to go flat out again right now. My family and I had always looked at the end of next year as the time where we would make a decision on what we’d do.

"Some different circumstances unfolded this year which meant that pushed its way to a bit earlier than what we’d anticipated but the end of next year was always the time when we were going to assess what 2022 was going to look like.

“I’ve got a very, very unique opportunity now to do three things – that’s commit to my family and friends a little bit more … I want to do some study and if I can do that abroad that would be great and the other thing I’d like to do is give something back to the game.

"I’ve been involved in club land for 35 years and there’s things I’d like to do … doing some stuff with Tassie. I’d like to see if I can help in some sort of way if I can help with them having a team in this competition.

“That’s amongst a whole heal of things I’d like to be able to do to give back to the game.”

“I said to Cooky on the phone that I grew up in an era where I feel like the best footy … I felt was the late 70s and early 80s. I remember the Carlton’s and the Essendon’s of that period of time.

“I couldn’t respect two clubs greater than Collingwood and Carlton and the lure to coach those clubs is just sitting there right in front of your face. Do you want to put your hand up to see whether you’d be selected to coach those sides, but it wasn’t strong enough to overpower the thinking of what my family and I need right now and that’s a spell.

“Now, in 12 months … I might find out I can’t recharge the batteries and I don’t want to go again. Or I think probably it’s in my DNA to want to coach again at the end of next year or the year after.”

Cook, who officially joined the Blues on a three-year contract on Friday night, is now overseeing the club’s search for a new coach in the wake of David Teague’s sacking.

The Blues have already interviewed Daniel Giansiracusa, Adam Kingsley and Michael Voss.

Cook, 65, is the longest serving CEO in the history of the game having overseen success at West Coast and Geelong.

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