Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson has not enjoyed the quintessential tourist experience at Coogee Beach.
Instead he has watched his AFL side’s finals hopes dwindle after four straight defeats while based by the ocean in Sydney.
The Hawks occupied fourth spot on the ladder when they landed in the NSW capital in early July, having claimed the scalp of Richmond in a promising patch that followed the league’s restart after the COVID-19 shutdown.
They could slip to 16th at the end of round eight, depending on other results.
There were some promising signs in Saturday’s seven-point loss to Sydney, which followed defeats to GWS, Collingwood and Melbourne.
But Clarkson, whose team now head west for Friday night’s clash with Carlton in Perth, knows 2020 could soon become a write-off.
“We’ll look at our list and where we think we’ll win our next premiership. It’s going to be very, very hard from here to have any sort of impact this season,” Clarkson said, when asked about the prospect of senior players losing their spot.
“But who knows. It can turn around very, very quickly too.
“Whilst the season is alive we’ve got a job to do – to be as competitive as we can.
“But also keeping an eye on the future too and seeing what young players we can blood over the next six-to-eight weeks.”
Clarkson lamented the Hawks’ lack of polish at the SCG, saying he knew the club would be heavily scrutinised after the defeat.
“We came away to Sydney 3-1 and now we’re 3-5. We’ve just got to dig in and hang in there,” he said.
“We’ve got a group that’s just down a bit on confidence.
“We’re trying to work our way through a very unusual circumstance.”
Clarkson said it was hard to tell whether the slump had any link to living in a hub over the past few weeks.
“It’s easy to blame something else,” he said. “We’ve prepared well. We’ve given ourselves a chance.”