The Courier-Mail - QWeekend

Stuart Dew

Gold Coast Suns head coach, 41, Gold Coast

- Interview JANE ARMITSTEAD The Gold Coast Suns play Carlton this weekend; Making Their Mark is available on Amazon Prime

IWhat are the toughest decisions you’re forced to make as a head coach?

It’s always when someone’s time at the club comes to the end, whether that be players or staff. It’s never one person’s call, but in the end you’re often tasked with delivering the news, so you are on the front line. It’s never an easy conversati­on and you try and be as upfront

and honest as possible when that time comes.

The pandemic prompted a complete upheaval of the AFL season last year. What physical and mental impacts did that have on you and the players?

The protocols we lived under were to keep the game going, so they were easy to adjust to. Our partners and family were impacted slightly, in that they were at times affected due to our restrictio­ns, but by and large we all understood, and by no means did we have it harder than the rest of society.

What do you hope viewers will take away from watching new AFL series, Making Their Mark?

I hope they get more of an insight into what we are about as a football club. We are a new club on a journey, and this will showcase a small part of that.

Why did you want to be involved?

The club was keen to be involved in Amazon Prime Video’s new docu-series so people can get to know our players and club as a whole.

Who do you turn to for advice when things go wrong?

I turn to my wife (Sarah Cumming) a fair bit in that she is outside of the football bubble and at times that is the best place to get some neutral unbiased advice. I’m also lucky in that at the club I have some great sounding boards like Tony Cochrane, Mark Evans, Jon Haines and Craig Cameron. George Stone who was with us for my s there anything more mysterious than dry cleaning? I know as much about the actual process as I do about alchemy. And yet I drop my stuff off every few weeks faithfully, trustingly. I have this fear that it might never return.

That happened once, although, after a few weeks searching, my favourite black merino polo neck was located.

I dropped some items off recently and was met with a puzzled look as the dry cleaner examined one of the jackets.

“There are some stains on this,” she said. “I know,” I said. “That’s why I’m having it drycleaned.” I would have thought that was self evident.

That was on a Monday and when I went first year really helped me settle into the role and I’m grateful for that. My dad also can have good words of advice if needed.

What is your pre-game ritual?

It depends on time of day and location but it is always good to get in the water. A few of us surf. And, with my kids (Frankie, 8, Jack, 5) that can be the perfect way to enjoy the start to the day.

Outside of AFL, what are your greatest passions?

Spending time with family, getting to know the Gold Coast and meeting new people through our school network. We love the beach.

What makes you the happiest?

those around me happy.

What are your goals for 2021?

to pick up the two jackets (one of mine, one of my son’s) the following Friday I was told they weren’t ready. Apparently they were still working on the one with the stains. I pictured a room full of people in white coats toiling over my son’s stained jacket.

Surely that wouldn’t take more than a couple of days. I have no idea what they were doing to it. I have no idea how dry cleaning works. Is it really dry? Or do they use liquids? And why does it seem to take so long and cost so much?

Every time I pay my dry cleaning bill I wish I was in the business. If I owned a string of dry cleaning stores I’d be a rich man I reckon.

Actually a friend of my late father-in-law

When I can see

Your greatest sporting hero and why?

As a kid it was Hawthorn’s John Platten playing football and I did love Dean Jones as a cricketer. Now I admire sportspeop­le like Tom Brady, Serena Williams, LeBron James, Kelly Slater, Roger and Rafa for their longevity at the top of their game.

What does it feel like when you’re under public scrutiny and how do you handle it?

We are in an industry where we can be under scrutiny at times and this can fluctuate but having spent all of my adult life in this industry you have that awareness, which has been just a part of what you do. Sometimes you feel it more than other times.

To chase as much improvemen­t as individual­s but, more importantl­y, collective­ly to climb our way up the ladder. We need to keep working hard on and off the field. did own a string of dry cleaning stores and he was able to spend a week at the Melbourne Cup each year so he must have been doing okay.

I was baffled as to why our jackets were taking so long. As I write this they are still not back although I am awaiting the call.

What are they doing with them? Now if you’re a Seinfeld watcher you’ll know there is a sketch about a dry cleaner and when Jerry goes to pick up his sports jacket it’s also not ready. Then he finds out that the dry cleaner has been wearing the jacket!

Surely that couldn’t be the case with our jackets? They are tailor made and quite nice. Keep an eye out for a dry cleaner wearing a nice grey or green sports jacket.

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