Coast not a ‘footy en­vi­ron­ment’: Eade

The Northern Star - - AFL SPORT - — Ri­ley Bev­eridge

FOR­MER Suns coach Rod­ney Eade be­lieves be­ing out of the media spot­light on the Gold Coast has ac­tu­ally hin­dered the devel­op­ment of the club, rather than im­prove it.

De­spite the com­monly held be­lief that be­ing away from the in­tense scru­tiny of AFL-cen­tric cities would aid the devel­op­ment of a young Suns group, Eade be­lieves it is hav­ing the op­po­site ef­fect.

Eade, who was sacked ear­lier in the sea­son after nearly three years at the helm at Met­ri­con Sta­dium, has re­vealed it doesn’t al­low play­ers to de­velop a hard­ened edge.

“It’s not a footy en­vi­ron­ment,” Eade (pic­tured) told Fox Sports News’ Gameday Live.

“The play­ers are driven and re­ally coach­able and they want to work hard, it’s just hav­ing that harder edge that you get in Mel­bourne, Ade­laide and Perth.

“It’s con­stant from the media, your sup­port­ers. You play a bad game and you get smashed on so­cial media or down at the cof­fee shop. That sort of el­e­ment is the only in­gre­di­ent miss­ing.”

Gold Coast is yet to make a sin­gle fi­nals cam­paign in its seven-year his­tory and again failed to make an im­pact in 2017, fin­ish­ing sec­ond last on the lad­der with a dis­ap­point­ing 6-16 record. The Suns have won 10 games in a sea­son only once since their in­cep­tion in 2011 and look set to lose star vet­eran and best and fairest win­ner Gary Ablett at sea­son’s end.

Eade be­lieves be­ing in a non-foot­ball en­vi­ron­ment hasn’t ex­posed the club to real crit­i­cism.

“There’s no doubt with Gee­long last week, with the media they’re read­ing day in and day out and the sup­port­ers who are let­ting you know and re­mind­ing you,” Eade said.

“You say ‘I need to do some­thing about this, I need to stand up’.

“It’s got its up­sides and down­sides. A ma­ture group can han­dle it – Syd­ney han­dles it. I know from my time at the Swans, you can es­cape the cov­er­age. But on the same to­ken, ev­ery now and then it’s good to have that nee­dle.”

PHOTO: TRACEY NEARMY/AAP

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