HAWTHORN coach Alastair Clarkson anticipates the club will wait until the final stages of his 2022 contract to discuss his next move as he prepares to navigate the Hawks' "new frontier".

The four-time premiership coach enters his 17th year at the helm with two seasons left on what could be his final deal.

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Clarkson farewelled six veterans last year in arguably the biggest changing of the guard in a single season in his tenure but remains full of energy to take control of the next wave.

Retiring Hawks champions Ben Stratton and Paul Puopolo are chaired off by teammates. Picture: Getty Images via AFL Photos

"I'm at that stage, both for where I'm at and where the club's at, we'll just let (it run)," Clarkson told AFL.com.au of his contract.

"It wouldn't surprise me if that rolled all the way to close to the end of 2022 before we both sit down and decide, 'what do you want to do?'"

"I've been in this caper for a long period of time and it might be that the longer we can leave this (the better we are) so we make the right decision for the footy club.

"I could finish up today and say I'd been enormously privileged and grateful for the opportunity I've had to coach this club and enormously satisfied with what we've been able to achieve in that period.

"But I'm still loving what I do and I'm enormously excited with the challenge of this next little wave we've got to try and ride. It's going to be a tough wave to ride but there's a new frontier with our footy club.

"(And) there's a new frontier with the game (with new rules and quicker ball movement).

"Can we get at the forefront of it? Don't know, we've been able to do it in the past. It's not to say we'll be able to do it again but I'm excited by the challenge and so are our players."

Clarkson revealed in 2019 that he would make his current contract his last if the Hawks weren't on track to win another piece of silverware.

Hawks skipper Luke Hodge and coach Alastair Clarkson receive the 2015 premiership cup from Peter Knights. Picture: AFL Photos

He said the factors that determined that 'track' ran far beyond wins and losses.

"It's all about the club and what's best for the club beyond 2022, if that's me or someone else," Clarkson said.

"What our members, our club and our players need to see is that we're tracking towards where we want to go.

"That's not going to be measured necessarily by wins and losses, it might be measured by the amount of debutants that we can play, the style of play we want to play, how many quarters we win.

"Milestone moments for me are moments in a game.

"Can Denver Grainger-Barras play on a high-quality forward and keep him goalless? Can a young player like a Harry Morrison have a 30-touch game?

"They're the little milestones that our players are searching for, we're searching for as a coaching group and that we're hoping to educate our members."

Hawthorn midfielder Harry Morrison in action against West Coast in round 12, 2020. Picture: AFL Photos

Clarkson praised the "sacrifice" of Sam Mitchell to combine his role in development at the Hawks with coaching VFL affiliate Box Hill, however refused to buy into whether the move was another step in a potential succession plan.

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The man overseeing the decision on Clarkson's next stage is set to be Hawks president Jeff Kennett, who last year extended his term in the top job until the end of 2023.