AFL News 2023 | Alastair Clarkson confirms he will not return to coach North Melbourne this season as he battles mental illness.

North Melbourne teacher Alastair Clarkson has admitted it would be “disrespectful” if he were to be coached again this year, although he was welcomed back to Arden Street on Tuesday.

In a 9News exclusive, Clarkson said he is keen to “return the faith” the Roos are facing, since he retired from mental health in mid-May.

“Bring back the faith, get back on the road with the Kangas, get off the canvas and get back on track,” Clarkson said. 9 Stories the second.

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However, there is no rush to return to his full-time role, with the coach admitting he may not return in 2023.

“I may not be coaching this year,” Clarkson said.

“It would be a bit disrespectful… as soon as I get back to the club.

“It will probably be sooner rather than later.”

Clarkson led his first session with his team on Tuesday since Brett Ratten took over as interim coach.

“Just try to get back together slowly. Today is my first day meeting the players,” he said.

The coach, who has led North Melbourne to their double win so far in 2023, admitted he has not got along with the struggling club, but is open to rebuilding their relationship.

“I’ve been doing very little for the last eight or 10 weeks,” Clarkson said.

“This is just going to take a little time. When this happens, it will be done.”

It comes after the AFL reporter Caroline Wilson said there was no “real concern” for Clarkson’s health at Nine Footy Classified Monday night.

The team is not yet ready to confirm when he will return to work, but insiders insist that “he will come back when everyone is sure they are ready,” Wilson said.

There was hope that he would return to the coaches’ box for the Roos 19’s match against St Kilda on Sunday, but Clarkson was quick to close down the opportunity.

“I need to know what’s been going on and what the soil is like,” Clarkson said.

Clarkson left North Melbourne permanently in May amid the Hawthorn racism investigation, which he says he is ready to put behind him because he is seen as the leader the Roos want.

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“I have been involved in this sport for a long time. It depends on the difficulties, I found difficulties,” he said.

“My favorite thing now is to put my feet back under the desk here.”

The Kangaroos will face St Kilda at Marvel Stadium on Sunday

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