Hawthorn head coach Sam Mitchell ‘set up to fail’ by Alastair Clarkson, Kane Cornes says

New Hawthorn head coach Sam Mitchell has been “set up to fail” by the list he’s inherited from Alastair Clarkson, Kane Cornes believes.

The Port Adelaide Hall of Fame member says he’s “pessimistic” about the Hawks’ list as Mitchell, who took over from Clarkson at the end of last season, prepares to lead Hawthorn in a first-round clash with North Melbourne at the MCG on Sunday.

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“We’re not going to know if Sam Mitchell can coach – that’s the problem,” Cornes said on Nine’s Footy Classified.

“You can talk footy with Sam Mitchell all day and he comes from great footy knowledge … and his career speaks for itself.

“We’re not going to know (if he can coach) because he’s been set up to fail by this list management.”

Hawthorn have only drafted four first-round players since winning the last title of their three-peat in 2015.

One of those players – Ryan Burton – is no longer at the club.

The Hawks’ top draft pick in 2016 was selection 74, in 2017 it was 45 and in 2018 it was 52.

A host of their top young players are also injured on the cusp of round one, including Will Day and Lachie Bramble.

“Once again, their best young players are injured, their best senior players get injured and they suffer from a lack of draft picks because ‘Clarko’ didn’t believe in the draft,” Cornes said.

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Mitchell was installed as Hawthorn’s head coach in ugly circumstances.

Early in July last year, Hawthorn unveiled a succession plan involving Clarkson and Mitchell, revealing the latter would continue as the club’s head of development and Box Hill head coach.

But not even a month had passed by when Clarkson, clearly irked at being pushed out of the club despite having led the Hawks to four AFL flags, announced he’d leave at the end of the 2022 season.

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