IF YOU were a punter you would probably back Adem Yze to go on and become a senior AFL coach.
The former Melbourne midfielder is after all undertaking an advanced course at the illustrious Alastair Clarkson school of coaching.
The master mentor's core business is winning premierships for Hawthorn, but a by-product of that successful undertaking is skilling up assistants who are graduating with honours - being running their own teams.
After three years as a development coach, Yze was put in charge of the Hawk defence this season, taking over from now Western Bulldogs boss Luke Beveridge.
"I've obviously got aspirations to go as far as I can in coaching," the 200-game Demon tells APN. "But if I keep doing this role or something along the lines of development or a senior assistant role, I'd be happy. They're obviously hard to get.
"But it's terrific to see that, I think each of the last four years, there's been someone that has gone on to coach from Hawthorn."
With Damien Hardwick at Richmond, Leon Cameron at GWS, Adam Simpson at West Coast and Beveridge at the Bulldogs all having success, Brendon Bolton became the fifth Clarkson apprentice to be hired by a rival club (Carlton) a fortnight ago.
"It just shows that the coaching program that (football manager) Chris Fagan and Clarko set up obviously works," Yze says.
"They're forever trying to develop us as coaches, not just the players, knowing the fact that if they do that, while it might mean that they lose them eventually, it gives the players the best opportunity to learn under good coaches.
"It's a really good system to be a part of."
Clarkson will confront one of his former protégés tonight when the Hawks are hosted by Simpson's West Coast in Perth in a qualifying final.
And Yze will have a major role to play in charge of a defence required to put the squeeze on a potent Eagles attack, headed by Coleman Medal winner Josh Kennedy.
"They can obviously hit the scoreboard," Yze says.
"But we've got to be on our game as a team. We don't look at it as our back six versus their forward six."
Yze admits working with such characters as extrovert Josh Gibson and temperamental Brian Lake keeps him on his toes.
"They're obviously all different individuals. You have to coach them all different ways," he says. "But they're a terrific bunch ... a driven group."
Probably not quite as driven as Clarkson though, who Yze played alongside briefly at Melbourne in 1996-97.
He remembers him being a "competitive little bugger".
"He got the best out of himself, and he does that with his players now," he said.
"He was the runner for us the year after he finished, under Neale Daniher (in 1998).
"He did feel then that he wanted to get into coaching and you could see it by his passion, just with his messaging and the energy he had."
Alastair Clarkson (Haw)
255 games @ 62.9%
Ross Lyon (SK/Fre)
216 games @ 66.9%
Damien Hardwick (Rich)
134 games @ 50.0%
Brad Scott (NM)
132 games @ 54.5%
John Longmire (Syd)
121 games @ 69.4%
Adam Simpson (WC)
44 games @ 62.5%
Luke Beveridge (WB)
22 games @ 63.6%
Scott Camporeale (Adel)
9 games @ 66.6%
CLARKSON VERSUS ...
Lyon 8-4-1 @ 65.4%
Longmire 9-4 @ 69.2%
Hardwick 3-3 % 50.0%
Scott 5-2 @ 71.4%
Simpson 1-0 @ 100%
Beveridge 1-0 @ 100%
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.