UPDATE: Alastair Clarkson will officially start his tenure at North Melbourne at the beginning of November despite the ongoing investigation into his time at Hawthorn.
Clarkson returned from an overseas trip this week and met with the Kangaroos powerbrokers to discuss next steps, with the board confirming his November 1 start date.
Kangaroos president Dr Sonja Hood said the club was “confident” that Clarkson could fulfil his coaching duties while also co-operating with the investigation.
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“We support the process to provide a voice for all parties. That includes former Hawthorn players and their families, as well as former coaches and staff, including Alastair,” Hood said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The board came to its decision after consulting with a range of stakeholders.”
Clarkson touched down in Melbourne on Tuesday after meeting with Celtic coach Ange Postecoglou and spoke publicly on the impending investigation into historical allegations of mistreatment of First Nations players from his time at Hawthorn.
The four-time premiership winner and his former right-hand man, Brisbane Lions coach Chris Fagan, both stood down from their respective positions late last month when an explosive report detailed the historic allegations against the pair from their time at Hawthorn. Both men have since vehemently denied any allegations of wrongdoing.
The AFL has released the terms of reference for the independent investigation into what took place at Hawthorn, and Clarkson said he, Fagan, and former Hawthorn development manager Jason Burt were ready to talk.
“It’s taken a bit of time to get through that, but at least we’ve got a platform now from which we can get a chance to tell our side of the story,” he told 9News Melbourne.
“Fages (Fagan), myself and Jason have been through a tough time over the last four weeks.
“I’m just pleased they’ve been able to identify a platform in which we can reveal some of the truth behind this, and then we get on with it.
“The bottom line is our most significant commitment that we need to address in the next little while is obviously the investigation.
“Fages (Fagan), Jason and myself always said right from the get-go that we’d co-operate fully with whatever the AFL put in place, and we intend to do that.
“If somewhere along the line we get the opportunity to return to work, that’ll be great as well, but our priority is to make sure that we co-operate with the investigation.”
Clarkson signed a five-year deal to be North Melbourne’s senior coach in August after being courted by Essendon.
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