AFL flags review on coach security

The AFL has flagged a security review after Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson’s clash with a Port Adelaide fan.

AFL football operations manager Mark Evans says the incident is regrettable but will wait for a South Australian police investigation to conclude before taking any action.

Police have appealed for witnesses after Clarkson clashed with a group of men following Port’s victory over the Hawks in Adelaide on Saturday night.

In an incident caught on film, Clarkson forcefully pushed one man, later saying he feared for his safety as he tried to return to the team hotel.

Clarkson and his football manager Andrew Fagan say they were goaded by three drunk men who repeatedly asked for a photo.

Video footage shows one man moving close to Clarkson and shouting “go the Power” before the coach pushes him.

“These guys, they’d been drinking, we didn’t know what they were going to do,” Clarkson said on Sunday.

The AFL’s Evans said it was a difficult situation for Clarkson.

“It’s not normal for someone to act in this way and (it is) probably regrettable,” Evans said in comments reported on Monday by afl.com.au.

“I’m not sure that we would like to see that sort of reaction.

“But my first view was that it was a reaction to try to escape the situation, but let’s see how this plays out.”

Asked if the AFL would act against Clarkson when the police investigation finished, Evans replied: “We won’t get to that one today.”

Many in the AFL industry have supported Clarkson, including Sydney coach John Longmire, who said security outside venues should be examined.

“On match days when you’re actually at the ground (security for coaches) is pretty good, there’s terrific security supplied by the AFL and the grounds,” Longmire told reporters in Sydney on Monday.

“But once the siren goes and you’re with your family or you’re walking across to your car and you want to get going, that needs to be looked at, which is a bit of a shame.”

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