Caroline Wilson says Alastair Clarkson will return as North Melbourne coach in 2023 but is worried about his health.


Senior AFL reporter Caroline Wilson they believe North Melbourne teacher Alastair Clarkson “he’ll be back this year”, referring to a return at the end of the season, but it shows that the club is in a “wonderful” position.

Clarkson, who took long-term departure from his job at Arden Street in mid-May as a result of the Hawthorn discrimination investigationHe returned to light duty with the Kangaroos in June after leaving the spotlight.

“It’s tough … he won’t train this week,” Wilson said on Nine Footy Classified Monday night.

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“North is not ready to say when it will be (he will come back) but he will come back this year.

“It could be round 20, it could be round 21. It’ll be round 22.”

Wilson explained why North Melbourne is holding Clarkson back, fearing he may not be fit to return to a club that continues to be under heavy scrutiny.

“There is still no concern about his health and well-being,” Wilson said.

“He’ll come back when everyone is sure he’s ready.”

As for long-term coach Brett Ratten, Wilson hopes to leave if Clarkson returns in 2023.

“North’s view is that they are teaching, or they are not teaching,” he said.

“When Brett Ratten becomes coach, he won’t have Alastair in the coaching box.

“You can’t have both parents at the same time.”

However, Wilson indicated that Clarkson’s return to the Kangaroos is slow, as the team struggles with a growing list of injuries, including George Wardlaw (hamstring) and Cam Zurhaar (sydesmosis).

“Alastair has never been in this team, apart from a good performance here and there,” said Wilson.

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“He has also started talking to the head coaches

“Everybody says he’s very good.”

But Clarkson won’t be a savior when he returns, says Essendon pundit Matthew Lloyd, who believes the Kangaroos are just around the corner.

“He’s sad,” Lloyd said Monday night.

“I think it’s getting worse. (Ben) Cunnington hasn’t played much all year, he’s gone, (Todd) Goldstein is going, Jack Ziebell is going, (Ben) McKay is leaving. I wonder if other players are going to leave.”

North Melbourne face ninth-placed Carlton on Sunday, hoping to win their third game of the season.

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