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‘That’s their democratic right’: Kennett unfazed by petition to oust him

“I haven’t heard about it and that’s their democratic right,” he said on Saturday.

Asked if would complete his final two years in charge, Kennett replied: “Absolutely”.

Kennett, who had also been president from 2005 until 2011, said he had no regrets about making one of the boldest calls in the club’s history.

“Big day, but we have a lot of big days in our lives,” he said.

“No one is dead, everyone has woken up this morning. These things happen in life, whether it be in football, or commerce, even journalism, from time to time.

Jeff Kennett.

Jeff Kennett.Credit:Getty Images

“Everything happens for a reason in life and everything turns out for the best in the end.”

Kennett on Friday denied he and his board had misled members, and insisted he had wanted Clarkson to continue mentoring Mitchell next year. A series of meetings in recent days, including player uncertainty, resulted in that plan being scuttled.

“We thought it would work. As it turned out it’s caused a lot of confusion, no one is perfect, I accept responsibility for that and we adjust,” Kennett said.

Sources close to the Hawks said on Saturday Kennett can expect an angry and contested annual general meeting, likely in December, and there were current board members who were considering their positions. There have been murmurings of rival tickets being formed.

Clarkson will see out the season, beginning against Brisbane in Launceston on Sunday, and has yet to decide what his next move will be. But coaching legend Leigh Matthews says Clarkson, before determining whether he wants to coach another club, must come to terms with the fact he is unlikely to ever again experience the success he had in tasting four flags with the Hawks.

Clarkson will almost certainly be sounded out by rival clubs, including the Magpies and possibly Carlton, but Blues coach David Teague declared on Friday night he believed he was still the right man for the job.

Hawthorn icon Leigh Matthews coaching Brisbane players in 2002.

Hawthorn icon Leigh Matthews coaching Brisbane players in 2002. Credit:Getty Images

Matthews, the former Hawthorn premiership captain who coached Collingwood to a flag and the Brisbane Lions to three straight, said it would be “illogical” for Clarkson to think he would reprise a run of five grand finals at another club. The Hawks won in 2008 and 2013-15 but lost the 2012 decider to the Swans.

“The fact Alastair Clarkson has coached four premierships within a short period of time … in a footy sense, that is like sitting on top of Mount Everest,” Matthews said on 3AW.

“When you have come off the top of Mount Everest, and that was always the nagging thought in the back of my mind late in my tenure with the Lions – no way are you ever going to experience what we experienced a few years ago. It is just illogical to think you can go back and go to another club and have another period where you have multiple premierships in the short period of time. That is the thing that Clarko has to come to terms with.

“Do I want to coach again? What are my other options in life? That’s going to be critical … but a nagging thought and, I suspect would be in his mind a little, (is that) can that mountain that we climbed, can I ever get back to that so whatever I do in a sense (now) will be second rate to that.”

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