There are caller doubts implicit whether Hawthorn's famed coaching succession program volition so materialise adjacent play aft Sam Mitchell reportedly indicated his tendency to person "clean air" successful 2022 successful a mediation league with Alastair Clarkson.
While Mitchell and Clarkson person enactment connected a agreed beforehand successful nationalist aft the announcement of the succession plan, radical who recognize the brace person warned that they could clash owed to their similarities.
According to seasoned AFL newsman Caroline Wilson, the nine held a "mediation session" betwixt the 2 successful an effort to get the brace connected the aforesaid leafage past week aft a 62-point nonaccomplishment against Fremantle successful Round 17, Hawthorn's archetypal lucifer since the succession program was announced.
"I'm told that during that gathering it became wide that Sam Mitchell would alternatively person cleanable aerial to person a caller commencement adjacent twelvemonth without Alastair Clarkson by his side," Wilson told Nine's Footy Classified.
"When this gathering took place, caput you this happened aft a beauteous flattening loss, I deliberation Alastair benignant of went on with this according to immoderate sources astatine the Hawthorn Football Club.
"Those astatine the gathering felt that Sam Mitchell made it wide that helium wanted to beryllium the manager adjacent twelvemonth and helium would similar to beryllium determination without Alastair Clarkson."
Clarkson and Mitchell are understood to person been joined successful the gathering by Hawthorn Head of Football, Rob McCartney and Ray McLean, who is the brag of Leading Teams, a institution which specialises successful civilization change, enactment and squad improvement programs.
"Depending connected who you speech to determination are respective versions of wherefore this gathering was held," Wilson added.
"There is simply a mentation which says that determination was interest that Alastair had gone into his ammunition to a degree, was not coping with the announcement, and was not needfully blessed astir moving with Sam.
"There's different mentation which says they conscionable needed to benignant things retired and possibly Sam wasn't peculiarly happy."
After guiding an undermanned Hawthorn broadside to a gully against ladder-leaders Melbourne successful Round 18, Wilson says Clarkson is present prepared to "dig in" to pb the nine successful 2022, contempt Mitchell's wishes to ascend to the elder coaching relation sooner than planned.
"The feeling is from the players that Alastair has ne'er been much engaged this twelvemonth than helium was aft [the gully against Melbourne]," she said.
"He is present digging successful and he's not prepared to permission contempt Sam's wishes."
Wilson besides suggested that the announcement of the coaching succession program had "disappointed and blindsided" Hawthorn's elder players, who stay fond of Clarkson.
Despite rumours of discontent, Hawthorn CEO Justin Reeves denied that determination was immoderate play betwixt Clarkson and Mitchell, telling Footy Classified that "they're really moving unneurotic amended than we expected".
While Clarkson has been linked to some Carlton and Collingwood passim the year, Wilson believes the four-time premiership victor has weighed up the proposition of taking a sabbatical adjacent twelvemonth if helium is to permission Hawthorn.
"If helium doesn't coach, helium doesn't get paid, and he's got a contract," she said.
"I personally judge that if [Hawthorn president] Jeff Kennett had his mode and if it wasn't going to outgo him a cardinal dollars, Sam Mitchell would beryllium the elder manager of the Hawthorn Football Club adjacent year.
"My presumption is it's a messiness and I don't deliberation it was a bully idea."