Recommended videos

Highlights: Richmond v Carlton

11:17pm Mar 27, 2014

Malthouse rues costly mistakes

11:44pm Mar 27, 2014

Recommended articles

Sunday football as it happened

Sunday football as it happened

Recap Port's Showdown upset, plus big wins for the Hawks and Tigers

11:45am Apr 14, 2013

St Kilda v Richmond as it happened

St Kilda v Richmond as it happened

 Recap Friday night's MCG clash as the Tigers make their best start to a season in 16 years

04:00pm Apr 5, 2013

Carlton v Collingwood as it happened

Carlton v Collingwood as it happened

Recap Friday night's blockbuster as the Blues capitulate in front of 78,000 at the MCG

10:36pm Jul 5, 2013

Saturday football as it happened

Saturday football as it happened

Recap a day bookended by two major boilovers

01:00pm Mar 30, 2013

Fantasy review: round three

Fantasy review: round three

It was a tough round for AFL Fantasy coaches, Warnie writes

10:42pm Apr 6, 2014

Football world sends off Hafey in style

Football world sends off Hafey in style

Tom Hafey remembered as a great coach and a wonderful man

06:15pm May 19, 2014

Clarkson won't 'abandon the journey' as Hawks near end of era

Travis King  February 16, 2016 6:59 PM

AFL 2016 Portraits - Alastair Clarkson

Alastair Clarkson wants to oversee Hawthorn's transition to a new group of on-field leaders

The real challenge for our club and our system, in a sense, is to see that that can provide success again for the club

ALASTAIR Clarkson says his three-year contract extension will give him time to oversee Hawthorn's list regeneration, with the master coach plotting how to extend the Hawks' era of success while sending off ageing stars.

Clarkson confirmed to AFL.com.au he has agreed to terms with the Hawks after a lengthy period of negotiations and will soon ink a new deal taking him through until the end of 2019.

"It was always going to be a formality really. I didn't want to go anywhere and the club didn't want me to go anywhere," the four-time premiership coach said.

"It's a three-year extension, so that will be this year plus another three. We've got a fair bit we want to achieve as a footy club (in that time)."

The chance to win a record-equalling four consecutive premierships is front of mind for the Hawks, but Clarkson also has an eye to the future with some club greats set to hang up the boots in the years ahead.

Premiership stars Brian Lake, David Hale and Brad Sewell have retired over the past two years, while elder statesmen Shaun Burgoyne (33), Sam Mitchell (32), Josh Gibson (31) and Luke Hodge (31) are coming towards the ends of their illustrious careers.

Clarkson said he's deeply motivated to guide the Hawks' next generation – led by the likes of Liam Shiels, Luke Breust and Ben Stratton – in a smooth changing of the guard while the club continues to fight for premierships.

"It's driving me in terms of the next wave of players coming through," he said.

"We want to test ourselves to see whether we can cope with the changes to our side, as well as obviously the changes to the game.

"The real challenge for our club and our system, in a sense, is to see that that can provide success again for the club.

"That's a challenge that we're looking forward to, but that's probably the reason why we're going to need a bit of time to do it.

"It really feels like if I'm the one who selects to jump off that, then I'm sort of abandoning the journey in a sense of some young lads who I've been involved with recruiting to the football club.

"I don't want to do that prematurely, I want to see it through."

Clarkson is already the Hawks' most successful coach in terms of premierships and the 47-year-old is set to overtake the legendary John Kennedy snr as the club's longest-serving coach late in 2017.

Kennedy led Hawthorn in 299 games for three flags and a 61 per cent winning record, while Clarkson is 40 games in arrears with a 63 per cent win rate.

More than ever, it seems Clarkson will remain a one-club coach, despite some big-money offers from rival clubs keen to poach the Hawks mastermind in recent seasons.

And while Clarkson has mentored five current senior AFL coaches, he doesn't intend to groom a successor.

"I don't want to be part of trying to select who our next coach is, I think that’s the responsibility of our board and the management of our club," he said.

"Otherwise they would be too prone to try and select a clone of me and it could be of the time of that change that it's time to go in a different direction altogether.

"It could be that they do find a clone of me, but I feel that the board and management need to have that flexibility to do what they want to do at the appropriate point in time.

"I just feel like a succession plan is too contrived. For different clubs, different environments and different situations it may suit other clubs … I don't think it's going to suit me."