Suns happy to flirt with untried coach
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.