Senior footy journalist Caroline Wilson has reported fresh allegations against former Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson concerning controlling behaviour.
But Wilson’s claims relate to non-indigenous past players and, specifically, incumbent Hawthorn coach Sam Mitchell.
The new allegations have emerged following claims made by former Hawthorn players of indigenous heritage, who accused Clarkson, ex-assistant Chris Fagan and former player development manager Jason Burt of « horrific » behaviour, prompting an AFL investigation
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The latest details stretch back to 2011, the year Mitchell’s wife Lyndall gave birth to twin girls and the family was facing alarming health issues.
Clarkson, who has already released a vehement statement denying the allegations made by the former Indigenous players, is alleged to have:
- Told Mitchell to hand in his mobile phone — the rest of the team was, too — ahead of an interstate clash with the Swans, despite the fact one of his twin babies was being admitted to hospital regularly.
- Expressed bewilderment before the twins’ birth that Mitchell was having children so close together (Smith was 11 months old when the twins were born) and questioned the impact it could have on his playing career.
- Announced publicly that Mitchell would miss a match against Richmond due to personal reasons relating to the twins’ health without the player’s knowledge or permission.
- Agreed to treat Mitchell with more respect at the end of the season, but again failed to do so.
As reported by Wilson, the majority of the former players contacted for comment stressed that Clarkson saw himself as a father figure at the club who, while at times overstepping the mark in interfering in their personal lives, firmly believed he was prioritising the best interests of his footballers.
In addition to the devastating allegations levelled against Clarkson, one wife of a former Hawks player said Lyndall Mitchell was berated by a Hawthorn club official (not Clarkson) for appearing to not show enough heartache after Hawthorn’s three-point preliminary final loss to Collingwood in 2011.
Clarkson’s manager and Mitchell both declined to comment when contacted by The Age regarding the new allegations.
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