AFL VictoriaAFL Victoria | Four-time Hawthorn premiership coach Alastair Clarkson has spoken of his passion for community football during a trip to Shepparton in country Victoria this week, as part of his role as community coaching ambassador with the AFL.

The former Hawthorn coach has been visiting community leagues and clubs around the country in 2022 and wants to see towns and clubs thriving again after two years severely disrupted by the pandemic.

“We're all creatures of habit, and what has become habit over the last two years is you can't get involved in your sporting club, so maybe our habit is sitting on the couch and maybe not getting back involved in the club, so we need to break that habit,” Clarkson said at Kialla Park Reserve after meeting with staff from AFL Goulburn Murray and AFL North East Border teams.

“The only way we can do that is we're open and alive and ready to go again and invite people back in, then reconnect them with these clubs."

“Historically, sporting clubs have been such a big part of the community and part of every young kid's upbringing and it's been a beautiful part of this country and this culture. We need to get back to that if we possibly can.”

As part of his visit to Shepparton, Clarkson also held a coaching masterclass for local coaches and attended training sessions for the Shepparton Bears, Shepparton United and Shepparton Swans Football Clubs.

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