North Melbourne and Essendon expect to know where Alastair Clarkson will be coaching by the end of this weekend.
The four-time premiership coach is yet to make up his mind between the Kangaroos, who have offered him a five-year contract after a month of discussions, and the Bombers, who launched into consideration this week following a change of their presidency.
His manager James Henderson said on Wednesday evening Clarkson was “moving quickly to a decision” and Kangaroos president Sonja Hood has confirmed that’s the case.
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The Kangaroos held a board meeting on Wednesday night where Clarkson, their clear plan A to replace David Noble as senior coach, was heavily discussed.
“We talked about a whole lot of stuff, including the coaching for next year, and we’re pretty comfortable with where things are at,” she told Seven News.
“We’re pretty confident we’ll know something by the end of the weekend, and we’re really happy with the way things are going.
“We think we’ve presented well to him, he’s presented well to us, we understand where each other’s at and we’ll see how that plays out.”
Naturally once the Kangaroos know Clarkson’s decision, the Bombers will know as well, meaning his future will be public by Sunday night.
While Hood denied there was an “ultimatum” given to Clarkson she confirmed the club had asked for clarity on the ex-Hawthorn boss’ timeline heading into Wednesday’s board meeting.
“We’ve had fantastic communication with both he and James (Henderson, his manager) all the way throughout,” she said.
“There was no ultimatum, we just wanted some clarity on where things were at so we knew that if we needed to move onto plan B, we could move onto plan B.”
Asked to expand upon who that plan B coach might be, she said: “I’ll tell you what, if we need a plan B, come back and ask me then and I’ll give you all the details.”
Nine reported likely backup targets for the Kangaroos include Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley, former GWS boss Leon Cameron, and Melbourne assistant and Power premiership coach Mark Williams.
North Melbourne interim coach Leigh Adams threw his support behind the club landing Clarkson on Wednesday.
“I think it would be fantastic if he was to come to our footy club, but if he doesn’t, then we’ll get the next best person in,” Adams said.
“Whoever does end up getting the coaching job is going to get a pretty unique group that we feel has got some real talent and can get up the ladder.
“I’m not 100 per cent sure what (Clarkson’s) weighing up, but I know he’s got some great people inside this footy club, not just players but our staff in here are fantastic.
“Hopefully, it pulls on the heart strings a little bit that he was a former player here, and he understands the culture and people within this place.”