• Grand Final scorecard: Every Hawk player rated
• Grand Final scorecard: Every Swans player rated
• How Hawks rode the bumps back to glory
• How the Hawks won it: Peter Ryan's analysis
IT TOOK Alastair Clarkson until the last 10 minutes of Hawthorn's thumping Grand Final win to relax and enjoy the perfect day for his side as it clinched back-to-back premierships.
The Hawks coach joined the all-time greats with his third premiership in charge of the club after its 63-point drubbing of the Sydney Swans at the MCG on Saturday.
Clarkson conceded even he could not have foreseen the huge win and the way everything went to plan for the victors.
"We've planned for a long time for this. I know that the game materialised in a manner that said everything worked perfectly for us today [but] not in our wildest dreams did we anticipate it was going to be a 10-goal victory for our side," Clarkson said post-game.
"In actual fact, no one saw it coming in terms of that margin, and many didn't see it coming even in that result because we were the underdogs.
"We probably deserved to be the underdogs given Sydney's outstanding season, but we gave ourselves a great chance. We play really well at this ground, we enjoy playing at this ground, and we've got great support from our brown and gold supporters."
Clarkson revealed the team had been spurred to back-to-back premierships by club great Jason Dunstall, who featured in the last (and, until Saturday, the only) time the Hawks had achieved the feat in 1988-89.
He also suggested the Hawks had learned some important lessons from 2009, when they didn't make the finals after winning the premiership the previous season.
WATCH: The Hawks soak it up as the siren sounds
The Hawks were faced by a number of hurdles this year – injuries to key players such as Josh Gibson and Cyril Rioli, illness to Clarkson, and of course the departure of star Lance Franklin – but overcame them to claim their 12th flag, and their third in seven seasons.
Clarkson said the disappointments of a preliminary final defeat in 2011 to Collingwood and the 10-point loss to the Swans in the 2012 decider had made this victory sweeter.
"As disappointing as those things are when they occur, at the time they do steel your resolve and they have helped us be able to respond really well and win premierships in successive years which is a pretty special effort," he said.
Franklin kicked four goals in Saturday's Grand Final for the Swans, and was probably his team's best player.
Clarkson said the loss of Franklin at the end of last season – and the Hawks' ability to cover him and succeed again in 2014 – showed it was a group effort.
"I think what it says is that clubs and squads win premierships, and that you need to use all your personnel at different stages," he said.
"We had some significant hurdles to overcome, particularly the significance of the players we had missing in that middle part of the season.
"We'll lose some players from time to time, and there's no bigger player in the game to lose than someone like a Franklin, who obviously moved to Sydney this time last year.
"But it's a reflection of your whole program when other guys can step up, rise to the plate, rise to the occasion, and fulfill a role for our side and help us win some silverware again the following year."
That attitude was obvious in the first term, when the Hawks set up the win with 22 tackles to the Swans' seven. Like the day itself, Clarkson couldn't have hoped for more.
"That said something about our hunt, and our capacity to apply significant pressure to the Sydney ball carrier. And they were unable to do that to us as often as they normally do," he said.