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Clarkson to depart Hawks



Four time premiership coach Alastair Clarkson is set to depart Hawthorn a year earlier than originally planned, set for an early exit from his contract at the end of the 2021 season.


The Age reported on Friday the club had agreed to part ways with their four-time premiership coach, with Clarkson set to receive a full payout.


It comes a week after Clarkson delivered an impassioned press conference emphasising his commitment to coaching the Hawks through 2022 as part of a succession plan with Sam Mitchell.


Mitchell pulled out of the running for Collingwood's senior coach vacancy ahead of the succession plan - Clarkson would see out 2021 and 2022 and Mitchell taking the reins proper in 2023 - announced on July 6.


Both Clarkson and Mitchell had actively denied reports of a rift since the announcement.


But the report said a group of senior players had told football director Richie Vandenberg and chief executive Justin Reeves on Wednesday the Mitchell-Clarkson situation was "untenable",


That reportedly prompted a conversation between Vandenberg and Clarkson, where they agreed to part ways.


Clarkson's next step is unclear but he has previously been linked to the vacant Collingwood coaching position, while he could tempt Carlton to make a call on under-fire coach David Teague, amid the Blues' external review into their football department.


After taking the reins at Hawthorn in 2005, Clarkson coached the Hawks to the 2008 premiership, then a three-peat between 2013 and 2015, with Mitchell playing in all four flags.


IMAGE: Hawthorn FC.