In the Giants boss’ search for a head coach following the resignation of Leon Cameron in May, Matthews met this week with Melbourne assistant Adem Yze and Richmond assistant Adam Kingsley.
He also caught up with Clarkson for the third time, in another indication the man who led Hawthorn to four AFL premierships is a strong contender for the GWS gig.
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Matthews admitted that, if the Giants were to complete a deal with Clarkson, they would push the AFL for extra money to hire him as both their head coach and an ambassador.
GWS wants not only a head coach with strong tactical nous, but someone capable and willing of taking on more abstract responsibilities in the club’s bid to grow its brand in western Sydney, an area dominated by rugby league and soccer.
“I think we would,” Matthews told Footy Classified‘s Eddie McGuire when quizzed on whether the Giants would chase additional financial support.
“Clearly with Alastair’s background you have to catch up with him, and it was a really good conversation,” Matthews added.
“His track record speaks for itself. With such a profile in the game, that certainly adds some appeal, but you do want to appoint the right coach, which is why we’re going through a process.
“People have got to be up for the challenge (of coaching the Giants). I’ve been there as the CEO now for 10 years. You’ve got to want to live in Sydney, and you’ve got to be wanting to grow the game and take on a lot of additional responsibilities that may not be things you need to do at other clubs. So, that’s a consideration, I’m sure. We’re there not just to be a successful footy club; we’ve got to grow the game.”
Former St Kilda and Fremantle head coach Ross Lyon supported the notion of ‘ambassadorial money’.
“I think it’s needed when we’ve invested as an AFL community so much into Gold Coast and GWS,” Lyon said on Footy Classified.
“You bring a great tactical coach and coach of the club. It was like when (Kevin) Sheedy was there … the ability to cut through in the western suburbs, the west of Sydney, needs a big name … it’s more than coaching the club … it’s a bigger challenge than if you just go down to Arden Street (the home of North Melbourne).”
When McGuire asked Matthews if North Melbourne’s hunt for a head coach influenced GWS’ pursuit, he was unequivocal.
The Kangaroos’ hot seat is vacant after David Noble was sacked in July, just 38 games into his post.
“We don’t feel under any pressure or time pressure at all or pressure from North Melbourne,” Matthews said.
“They’ll do what they want to do. We’re pretty clear on what our process is and we’re just still working through it. So, what they do is a matter for them.”
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