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Anna Harrington

Clarkson throws support behind Kangaroos president

Alastair Clarkson wants North fans to vent any disgruntlement at him, not Sonja Hood. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS)

Coach Alastair Clarkson has urged North Melbourne fans to take out their frustrations on him, not Sonja Hood, after online abuse was directed at the Kangaroos president.

Dr Hood had been a prolific user of X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, for communicating with Kangaroos fans but recently deactivated her account because of vitriol she was receiving.

"It's difficult because ... it's a really, really effective communication tool for many, many people when it's used in the right way," Clarkson said.

"Sonja has been able to communicate with so many people using that forum and platform, but unfortunately it's got some risk attached to it and you do open yourself up to some vitriol from time to time.

"I think Sonja's just said, 'This is just a little bit over the top at the minute, I'm just going to pull myself away from it for a while just until the balance comes good again'."

Sonja Hood.
Sonja Hood has closed her X account after abuse from Kangaroos supporters. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS)

Clarkson defended Hood amid North's difficult 0-4 start to the AFL season and said any heat should be on him.

"She's been terrific for our footy club – her and (CEO) Jen Watt govern and administer the club superbly," he said.

"Probably if there's any criticism of our footy club, it's that we're not going too well on the footy field.

"If you want to direct the blame or the attention to anyone, direct it right here, don't worry about our administration or our chairperson, I'm in charge of our footy program.

"Todd Viney gives me a fair chop-out. So together, if you want to point the finger, point it at us.

"But we'll get there. We know where we're at. We've really strong alignment with our board and our players and hopefully our supporters can see enough of where we're going, but it's just gonna take a little bit of time."

North suffered a fresh blow ahead of the daunting task of taking on Geelong at GMHBA Stadium, with defender Kallan Dawson rolling his ankle at training on Friday and limping off.

Clarkson believed he was unlikely to face the Cats.

But there was some good news, with 21-year-old key forward Tyler Sellars, a supplementary selection pick out of the VFL, to debut.

"It's exciting because probably at both ends of the ground we're a little bit undermanned for talls," Clarkson said.

"We're really excited with what he can bring. Hopefully he can jump at the footy and provide some contest because the Geelong defence is a really, really strong defence."

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