Hawthorn tries to lure back club great Sam Mitchell
HAWTHORN coach Alastair Clarkson says he would welcome Sam Mitchell back to Waverley Park with open arms, but knows other Victorian clubs are in the queue to secure the services of the West Coast assistant next year.
Four-time premiership Hawk Mitchell, who has been an assistant coach at West Coast this year, has indicated a desire to return to Melbourne with his young family despite having two years to run on a four-year contract.
Clarkson said he had made contact with Mitchell since the news broke, but with both Hawthorn and the Eagles pushing towards finals any talks about 2019 would have to wait.
"I sent him a text this week and my wife did as well just to Lyndall (Mitchell's wife)," Clarkson said.
"It must be tough for them because they went over there on a little adventure and from all reports they're going to come back a little bit earlier than what they thought.
"We'll see how that all plays out but we've got more important things right now to be worrying about and I know Sam full well and his response to me was, 'Yeah, we're coming home Clarko but now's not the right time to talk.' So I was put back in my box pretty quickly by Mitch."
After 307 games for Hawthorn, Mitchell finished his career by playing 22 games for West Coast last season before moving into a full-time coaching role this year.
The Hawks meet Fremantle in Perth on Sunday in another crunch game as they look to hold on to their finals dream, with Clarkson saying he is after some consistency after an impressive 72-point win by his side over Carlton last weekend.
"(Fremantle has) been a mixed bag and so have the Hawks so it will be a really, really interesting game on that basis alone," Clarkson said.
"Sometimes we've been able to bring our best and sometimes we've been able to bring some of our worst footy so that is a challenge.
"We hope it's not one of those fluctuating weeks. We hope that we can just get some back-to-back consistency because we know that to play finals footy you've got to be able to string together some wins on the trot and that's what we're searching to do over the next little while."
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