Hawthorn large Jordan Lewis admits the Hawks' succession program to regenerate caput manager Alastair Clarkson with erstwhile prima Sam Mitchell came arsenic a "shock" to him, revealing helium was "surprised" to spot the determination taken retired of the four-time premiership coach's hands.
Mitchell, who won 4 premierships nether Clarkson arsenic a player, volition instrumentality implicit arsenic Hawthorn's elder manager successful 2023 aft the nine announced a succession plan.
It was a determination that caught the AFL satellite disconnected guard, particularly with Mitchell heavily targeted by the Collingwood Magpies, who are connected the hunt for a caller manager aft precocious parting ways with Nathan Buckley.
Lewis, a four-time premiership Hawk also, admits helium was amazed to spot his erstwhile nine not let Clarkson to spell retired connected his terms.
"It perfectly came arsenic a shock," helium told SEN.
"I deliberation what Hawthorn has ever done is taken the emotion retired of the decision, whether that beryllium players, whether it beryllium coaches, whether it beryllium adjunct coaches oregon adjacent administration.
"That has been a accordant taxable done the past 10 to 15 years. If you look backmost astatine sides that haven't handled it well, it is each astir emotion. How bash you really enactment that to 1 broadside and marque the decisions that whitethorn beryllium close oregon incorrect for the nine - lone clip volition archer - but it was a large call.
"I was arsenic amazed arsenic everyone successful the footy satellite to perceive they had a speech 10 days oregon 2 weeks ago. For them to support that quiescent successful this time and property wherever things thin to leak retired and past travel to the decision.
"I deliberation each on we've said Alastair Clarkson is 1 of the top coaches to ever manager the game, it volition beryllium his determination erstwhile helium wants to permission Hawthorn.
"I didn't expect it would beryllium taken retired of his hands. That for maine was a large surprise."
Lewis admits rival clubs' pursuit of Mitchell, namely Collingwood, apt enactment unit connected Hawthorn to velocity up the process of keeping him astatine the club.
"Speaking to Sam and the radical astir him, helium was acceptable to coach," Lewis added.
"He felt helium was acceptable to instrumentality the adjacent step. If it was the lawsuit that Alastair was going to motion a declaration hold past helium would person sought opportunities determination else.
"Whether that beryllium the Collingwood occupation oregon different adjunct manager presumption determination other to broaden his accomplishment level.
"The determination and the Collingwood occupation that was up for grabs and perchance him leaving astatine the extremity of the play whitethorn person fast-tracked their determination making."
Dogs urged to manus Jamarra AFL debut
Mitchell, 38, retired astatine the extremity of the 2017 play arsenic a West Coast Eagles player. He played 22 games for the nine aft being traded by Hawthorn.
Following his retirement, Mitchell served arsenic an adjunct manager with the Eagles successful 2018 and was portion of the club's premiership that year, with West Coast defeating Collingwood successful the Grand Final.
Mitchell returned to Hawthorn successful 2019 and astir precocious has been coaching the Hawks' VFL affiliate, Box Hill.