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Clarkson says Roughead isn't going anywhere

'We wasted chances in crucial patches' Alastair Clarkson laments the lack of 'polish and composure' his Hawks displayed

ALASTAIR Clarkson has nipped speculation about Jarryd Roughead's future in the bud, saying his captain would remain at Hawthorn next year.

Roughead, who turns 32 in January, has long been contracted for 2019 but recently there has been widespread speculation he would not be at Waverley next year after it emerged he and Clarkson had been in talks about his future.

The Hawks have been in a transitional period in recent seasons and sensationally traded club greats Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis at the end of their unsuccessful 2016 finals campaign in an attempt to fast-track a list rebuild.

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Many thought the same fate could await Roughead at the end of this season, with some commentators suggesting clubs such as Carlton and Collingwood should make plays for the key forward.

However, less than an hour after Hawthorn's season ended with a 33-point semi-final loss to Melbourne at the MCG on Friday night, Clarkson was emphatic Roughead was going nowhere.

Asked whether he and Roughead still had to have discussions about his future, Clarkson said: "No, no, we've had the discussions and he's playing at Hawthorn next year."

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But Clarkson was just as clear that Hawthorn had to improve the quality of its list ahead of the 2019 season.

In losing to the Demons, the Hawks became the seventh top-four team since 2000 to bow out of the finals in straight sets.

They suffered the same feat in their previous finals appearance in 2016 and have now lost four straight finals.

WATCH Alastair Clarkson's full post-match media conference

Clarkson said the absence of injured trio Grant Birchall, Ben Stratton and Jaeger O'Meara, and retired star Cyril Rioli had been costly, but said his team needed to improve its depth across all three areas of the ground.

"We probably need to add players wherever we can across defence. We need to rebound from defence a little bit better, Birchall coming back in will help," Clarkson said.

"We need some more support for the midfield and we need more goalkicking targets, so it's right across the board.

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"We need to improve the quality of our list and the quality of players on our list and some of that will be organic with the guys that are already there and some of it will be from trying to inject new players into our club.

"We need to do whatever we can either (at the) draft, trade or free agency to bring in players that will improve our list."

Clarkson said Birchall would be ready for a full pre-season after missing much of the past two years with knee troubles.

"We've sadly missed him. Some in the competition, especially opposition sides and coaches, fully understand and appreciate the value of him off our half-back line," he said.

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Clarkson said it had been "a terrific" effort by the Hawks to finish in the top four at end of the home and away season, but lamented the fact they had not played their best football in the last month of the season.

Nonetheless, the Hawks coach said youngsters such as James Worpel, Harry Morrison and Conor Nash would gain invaluable experience from playing in their first finals series before crowds of 90,000.