Ex-club president says a fresh start is needed at the club in wake of Geelong loss.
Despite the AFL season being just one week old, former Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett said it is time the club moved on current coach Alistair Clarkson at the end of his current deal.
Speaking in the wake of the Hawks’ 10th loss-in-a-row to the Geelong Cats at the MCG, Kennett said the players needed a new voice to get them back to a premiership.
Despite leading the Hawks to the premiership in 2008, Clarkson has only won 57 per cent of games he has been in charge of.
It is that statistic and the lack of titles in the past four years that has seen Kennett call for Clarkson to step down at the end of 2013, despite still having a year to run on his deal at Waverly Park.
“I think we need to introduce a freshness at the club that doesn’t exist at the moment because so many of the personnel have been there for a number of years,” Kennett said.
“They have been listening to the same voice for too long.”
Hawthorn look to be building for the future with the recent announcement of a new $35 million redevelopment of Waverly Park, along with the resigning of some of the club’s biggest stars.
Despite the loss to the Cats in the first round, many experts are predicting the Hawks are only of only a few sides in the competition capable of winning it all in 2013.
However, if Hawthorn does decide to move Clarkson on at the end of the year the former Victorian premiers suggested to not go looking for a high-profile replacement.
“I’d be looking for a second-tier coach who has proved himself and hungry for success and trying to prove himself,” Kennett said.
“I don’t believe you look around for another senior coach – you elevate an assistant coach who has something to prove.
“Alastair has now been there for a long time, the players understand him very well…you have to freshen up the group.
“And we have a very good list still.”