Kennett apologises for Clarkson sack call

By Ian Rakowski

Former Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett has apologised for his sensational call that coach Alastair Clarkson should be sacked at the end of the season.

In a stunning backflip, Kennett sent a letter of apology to Clarkson admitted his comments were out of line.

Earlier he told Fairfax Radio that players needed a new voice in the changerooms, but he has changed his tune within the last 24 hours.

"I think we need to introduce a freshness at the club that doesn't exist at the moment because so many of the personnel have been there for a number of years," Kennett told 3AW after yesterday's match.

"They have been listening to the same voice for too long."

But in a letter addressed to coach Alastair Clarkson, Kennett apologised and admitted his comments were out of line.

"I was out of line yesterday in holding (Alastair Clarkson) solely responsible for our Club not saluting in the last 3 years and for our performance yesterday," he wrote in the letter

"It is true with our list of players and the support the Club has given the football department that I felt we have underachieved over that three year period."

"And yes someone must accept responsibility for those defeats. But maybe in my support for the Club, I have come to expect too much!"

"On reflection I was wrong to single out Alastair alone."

"He, like all at the Club, have done their best, and Alastair has personal values which I have always greatly respected".

Kennett also gave credit to the Cats while praising his own players as well.

The Hawks lost to the Cats by just seven points and extended a run of 10 defeats since the 2008 grand final.

The Hawks were ahead by 20 points at half time, but a sensational third term from Joel Selwood inspired the Cats to come from behind yet again.

Today the Hawks players stood steadfastly with their coach, saying Clarkson was the right man to lead them into the future.

Star Hawthorn midfielder Brad Sewell said the Hawks would be ignoring their former president's advice and backed Clarkson.

"We've had a number of assistant coaches come into the organisation and they've added so much to the group as well," Sewell told reporters.

"There's no doubt that his voice is still being heard."