North Melbourne legend Ron Joseph was unsurprised Alastair Clarkson chose to link up with the Kangaroos and not “follow the drug money” at Essendon.
Clarkson was announced as North Melbourne’s new coach on a five-year deal on Friday, bringing an end to a lengthy period of speculation about the coach’s next move.
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The Kangaroos had been courting Clarkson for several weeks, but Essendon threatened to throw a spanner in the works as the club made a late play for the former Hawthorn coach’s services.
However, Joseph was never concerned Clarkson would wind up with the Bombers over the club he debuted for.
“Essendon never frightened me,” Joseph told The Herald Sun.
“I never thought Clarko would follow the drug money to Tullamarine.
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“Why would you want Kevin Sheedy looking over your shoulder at that spiritless, windswept hole they abandoned the iconic Windy Hill for?”
In Friday’s press conference, Clarkson named Joseph as a key reason behind his return to the Shinboners after 27 years away.
And Joseph, who was a major figure involved in North Melbourne’s success in the 1970s, is firmly backing Clarkson to be the man to get the club moving forward again.
“North Melbourne needs to draw a line in the sand and he’s the bloke to do it,” Joseph said.
“I could never see him going to the Giants where he’d have to pack his bags and move up to Greater Western Sydney – that’s about as spiritless as Essendon.
“He knows the North Melbourne people and the North Melbourne people know him. The whole thing just makes so much sense.
“North supporters have seen the steady disintegration of their club over the last decade and a half and today they will all be relieved. We are on the move again.”