Suns waiting until the end of the season to start coach search

UPDATE @ August 9, 7:00am: With three games left in the regular season, Gold Coast are determined to stay focused on the remaining fixtures, rather than finding a new head coach.

Longtime Suns assistant coach Dean Solomon will take the reigns for the rest of the season.

During a press conference on Tuesday morning, club chairman Tony Cochrane said it was a tough decision to get rid of Rodney Eade.


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“It’s simple, it’s wins and losses. We had a strong belief at the start of the year that we would challenge for the top eight this year, and we simply have failed,” Cochrane said.

“We’re simply in the same position as we were three years ago and that’s not good enough for our board.

“It doesn’t matter how you assess it, the wins-losses ratio is not what we want it to be, not even close.

“This is an industry, a sport judged by wins and losses … we have to look to our future. We have to deliver better results, especially for our members, our supporters and our Gold Coast community.”

Both Cochrane and Suns CEO Mark Evans were determined to downplay the need to start the search for a new head coach.

They’re waiting until the end of the regular season to start the search, but the rumor mill is already in full swing about who’ll take the top job.

Hawthorn’s Brett Ratten is at the top of a list of likely candidates to be the new head coach.

The list includes Adam Kingsley, Matthew Kicks, and the current interim coach Dean Solomon.

Speaking with Hot Tomato’s Galey, Mal and Moyra this morning, Mr Evans said Rodney handled the news as well as he possibly could have.

“We called around to see him later on Monday night and he was very dignified,” Mr Evans said.

“We caught up with him again with the team and Tony Cochrane in the morning and again very dignified. He said he was disappointed and that he didn’t agree with the decision but accepts it. He handled it very well.”

You can listen to the full chat with Suns CEO Mark Evans below:

EARLIER @ 10:30am 8 August

Rodney “Rocket” Eade, the coach renowned for his fiery dressing down of players, has walked away from the team after being told this would be his last season.

The news was given to him last night.

According to the Courier Mail, Gold Coast CEO Mark Evans expected Eade to see out the season, but the 59-year-old called him this morning asking to be released immediately.

He will not coach in this weekend’s game against Brisbane.

Initially when he took over the Suns in 2015 he was expected to extract the best from the young, talented playing squad and strengthen their on-field performance.

But after finishing 15th and 16th in the last two seasons, the board decided to cut the oldest coach in the AFL with only four matches left in his contract.

Current assistant coach Dean Solomon will coach against the Lions this weekend and is tipped to be a front runner for the top job in 2018.

The Gold Coast Suns released a brief statement a short time ago confirming the news.

SUNS Chairman, Tony Cochrane and Chief Executive, Mark Evans will speak to the media early this afternoon and a more detailed statement will be emailed to all Gold Coast Suns members.

After stints with the ABC and AAP, Mitchell joined 1029 Hot Tomato in 2017. He’ll be out and about bringing you the news that matters on the Coast, with a focus on local sports and the Commonwealth Games.

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