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.
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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.”