An early contract extension isn’t on the cards for Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson despite the Hawks’ impressive start to the AFL season.
After missing the finals for the first time since 2009 last year, Hawthorn are premiership contenders once again, sitting fourth with a 5-2 record.
Tough decisions made by Clarkson to move on much-loved veterans Luke Hodge, Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis and aggressively trade for Tom Mitchell and Jaeger O’Meara are at the heart of the Hawks’ swift rebound.
Clarkson, who is in his 14th year as Hawthorn coach, is tied to the club until the end of the 2019 season.
Interest from rival clubs has been a constant whenever Clarkson has approached the end of a contract over the past decade.
The four-time premiership coach and club president Jeff Kennett have previously stated they are content to leave talks on a new deal until the end of the year.
Kennett isn’t tempted to lock down his coach with an early extension.
“He’s got to earn his right,” Kennett told reporters on Monday.
“We’ve come to an agreement earlier on that he and the board will discuss (an extension) at the end of the year and we’ll make a decision in our mutual interest.
“Until then we’re not going to worry.
“We’re focused on just doing the best we can week by week, game by game.”
Kennett spoke to reporters before Hawthorn’s clash with Sydney at the MCG on Friday night.
In addition to the premiership points, the teams will play for the beyondblue Cup, which aims to raise awareness about anxiety and depression in the community.
“This cup is terribly important … because within the AFL, the VFL and within women’s football there are many contestants who are under a great deal of pressure,” Kennett said.
“(People) who feel stressed, suffer from anxiety and worse.
“The beyondblue Cup is meant to draw people’s attention to the fact that depressive illnesses, properly treated and recognised, can be dealt with very quickly.”
Australian readers seeking support and information about depression can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.
MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78.