Suns happy to flirt with untried coach

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - AN­DREW HAMIL­TON

GOLD Coast CEO Mark Evans has been so in­spired by the start Chris Fa­gan has made at the Lions he has no fears of bring­ing in an untried coach to re­place Rod­ney Eade at the Suns.

Gold Coast as­sis­tant Dean Solomon has re­jected an ap­proach from GWS to join their coach­ing ranks and will coach the Suns in Satur­day’s Q Clash and for the rest of the sea­son.

He will be a can­di­date to re­place Eade full- time when the se­lec­tion process be­gins at the sea­son’s end.

An­other po­ten­tial can­di­date is Carl­ton as­sis­tant John Barker, who Evans en­dorsed along­side Fa­gan as a pre­ferred can­di­date to Bris­bane last year, and is widely con­sid­ered the front- run­ner for the Suns’ job. Evans in­sists he has yet to draw up a short­list or ap­proach po­ten­tial can­di­dates, but was will­ing to re­veal the char­ac­ter­is­tics he was look­ing for to be the Suns’ third se­nior coach.

“I don’t think we should nar­row down a par­tic­u­lar cat­e­gory of coach as to whether they have pre­vi­ously been a se­nior coach or not,’’ he said.

“For me a good se­nior coach has footy smarts, builds unity in the way they lead staff and play­ers and has strong suits in em­pa­thy, gen­uine in­vest­ment and drive for con­tin­u­ous im­prove­ment.’’

He said Fa­gan, a former col­league at Hawthorn, pos­sessed those at­tributes “in spades’’.

Evans has been tight- lipped about Solomon’s chances, but stressed his con­nec­tion and fierce loy­alty to play­ers was a strength recog­nised by ev­ery­one within the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

He said Solomon was given no guar­an­tees the job would be his next year when he asked him to take the hot seat.

Nor did he ex­press any reser­va­tions about be­ing an in­terim coach, al­though tra­di­tion­ally they are over­looked for the se­nior job.

“In the phone call I made to Dean Solomon this morn­ing, his re­sponse was, I will al­ways do what’s best for th­ese play­ers and the club, in that order,’’ he said.

“He has that level of re­spect for them and they have that for him.

“It makes him quite clearly the best per­son to gal­vanise what we need to do now.’’

Chair­man Tony Cochrane said Solomon’s ap­pli­ca­tion would not be rated on the side’s per­for­mances over the fi­nal three weeks.

“I think Dean can sit very com­fort­ably in terms of any sort of as­sess­ment,’’ he said.

Other highly rated po­ten­tial ap­pli­cants who have com­pleted the AFL’s level 4 course are Stu­art Dew ( Sydney) and Peter Su­mich, who left the AFL sys­tem last year but has a strong track record as an as­sis­tant and also with his own WAFL teams.

Of tried coaches, Brad Scott’s name is con­tin­u­ously linked to both Queens­land clubs while Hawthorn as­sis­tant Brett Ratten has also been men­tioned as a can­di­date.

Evans was adamant there was no list.

YOUR TURN: Gold Coast Suns in­terim coach Dean Solomon pic­tured dur­ing the team’s train­ing ses­sion at Met­ri­con Sta­dium and ( inset) sacked coach Rod­ney Eade.

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