The Gold Coast Suns, or as some might say, Fold Coast, have a new coach for the 2018 AFL season, in what must be considered possibly the second-worst job in the AFL. The main redeeming feature is that at least it is not the Titans for whom Stuart Dew will be doing his coaching next season.
If reports are true, Dew will be confirmed this morning as the replacement for Rodney Eade.
Dew was the “winner” in what turned out to be a shortlist of three, which along with Dew, included John Barker and Scott Burns.
Dew has paid his dues in the AFL, spending nine years as an apprentice at the Sydney Swans as John Longmire’s second in command and senior assistant.
Dew knows what winning feels like, at least. He played 206 senior games between 1997 and 2009, 180 with Port Adelaide and 26 with Hawthorn, winning premierships with Port in 2004 and Hawthorn in 2008.
He was groomed for a head-coaching gig as an inaugural member of the AFL’s Level Four Course, a program designed to prepare assistants for senior jobs. He wisely did not apply for the Brisbane Lions’ job last year. He also declined to step in as Paul Roos successor at Melbourne.
So dreary was the performance of Gold Coast in 2017 that Coach Eade was stood down before the end of the season, following Round 20, after which assistant Dean Solomon took charge on an interim basis.
Solomon is expected to remain with the club going forward, but his role has not yet been determined, as Dew will rightfully be given the opportunity to select his staff of assistants.
The Swans were keen to get Dew as their Head Coach, but they will now be forced to look to another. They had already lost out on Josh and Harry Playfair.