Mitchell rejects Clarkson’s Hawks advance

Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson says he was put back in his box pretty quickly after launching an early attempt to lure Sam Mitchell back to the AFL club.

Mitchell will leave West Coast at season’s end to return home to Melbourne.

The 35-year-old played 22 games for the Eagles last year and is now an assistant coach.

It’s believed Mitchell has two more years remaining on his coaching contract at West Coast but he will be allowed to leave early for personal reasons.

Mitchell is a legend at Hawthorn, having won four flags for the Hawks and also captained them during his glittering 307-game career there.

Clarkson and Mitchell shared a strong bond during their time together at Hawthorn and they could be reunited next year.

But it seems Mitchell isn’t interested in discussing his future prospects just yet.

“I think I’ve joined the queue, along with (nine) other clubs here in Melbourne if he is going to return,” Clarkson said.

“I sent him a text – and my wife did yesterday as well.

“I know Sam full well, his response to me was, ‘Yeah, we’re coming home Clarko but now’s not the right time to talk’.

“So I was put back in my box pretty quickly by Mitch.”

Mitchell has his hands full at the moment trying to help guide West Coast to this year’s flag.

Clarkson has other things on his mind as well.

The Hawks entered round 19 clinging to eighth spot and Clarkson knows his team can’t afford to slip up in Sunday’s clash with Fremantle at Optus Stadium.

Both sides have been inconsistent this season, mixing powerful wins with inept losses.

Clarkson knows those mixed results come with the territory when you start to blood younger players but he hopes his team can find some consistency in the tail end of the season.

“Fremantle have been a mixed bag and so have the Hawks,” Clarkson said.

“Ross (Lyon) and I would be a little bit perplexed from game to game.

“Sometimes we’ve been able to bring our best and sometimes we’ve brought our worst.

“That’s a challenge for both sides – to get that consistency.”

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