Alastair Clarkson’s blunt message to North Melbourne players on the unofficial first day at the club

New North Melbourne manager Alastair Clarkson had a simple message for his players when he joined the club on Tuesday.

Clarkson doesn’t officially begin his new role until November 1, but he was at Arden Street to sit down with the players and begin planning the club’s climb up the ladder.

Watch Mitch Cleary’s exclusive report in the video above

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The Kangaroos’ season ended in disappointment on Saturday, finishing bottom after losing to the Gold Coast by 67 points just 24 hours after Clarkson was announced as their new coach.

“It’s the first time I’ve had the opportunity to actually sit down with one of them because I respected the fact that they had to play their game on Saturday and do everything they could to prepare for their break. ‘ Clarkson told 7NEWS reporter Mitch Cleary.

“The main message is: let’s get ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work.

“Take a break, get away with family and friends but we have something to do in November when we come back and start the long climb up the ladder.”

New North Melbourne manager Alastair Clarkson. Recognition: /7NEWS

Clarkson said the team’s improvement will largely come through the draft, but hinted they will look to bring some proven talent to help.

St Kilda’s Brad Hill has already been linked with a move to the Roos after winning three flags with Clarkson at Hawthorn.

“Broadly speaking we have to go to draft but wherever we can bring players into the club who are ready and proven players we will try that,” Clarkson said.

Meanwhile, Ben Cunnington has signed a two-year contract extension with the club after overcoming cancer to make a successful AFL return this year.

Cunnington underwent surgery in 2021 to remove a testicular tumor, but a routine check-up earlier this year found a secondary cancer.

The 31-year-old underwent chemotherapy before making an emotional AFL return two weeks ago, notching 17 possessions and six clearances in a 29-point loss to Adelaide.

– wwith AAP

Tom Browne asks Kochie about Ken Hinkley’s future.

Tom Browne asks Kochie about Ken Hinkley’s future. Alastair Clarkson’s blunt message to North Melbourne players on the unofficial first day at the club

James Brien

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