The Courier-Mail

Rocket acts to lock in the box

- ANDREW HAMILTON

GOLD Coast have attempted to lock away their entire coaching panel by offering all assistants and developmen­t coaches new two-year deals.

The Suns are after stability and certainty heading into the pre-season given there is expected to be mass movements of assistant coaches this off-season with Essendon and Adelaide in the hunt for senior coaches and Carlton and the Hawks needing to bolster their ranks after end-of-season departures.

The review at the end of last season found the assistant coaches were not given enough responsibi­lity under former coach Guy McKenna.

Senior coach Rodney Eade was given 12 months to assess the coaching panel and has declared he is happy with the team of Andy Lovell, Dean Solomon, Matthew Primus (pictured), Ashley Prescott and Matthew Lappin as well as NEAFL coach Josh Fraser.

Football manager Marcus Ashcroft confirmed the offers had been made to all coaching staff but said the deals were not all finalised yet.

“It is hard when you have a difficult year, which we have had, to keep the coaches committed and the real positive of our group is they are supportive and aligned with the vision of the senior coach, and Rocket feels that,” he said. “When Rocket arrived he was really good at being able to assess how our group of coaches are performing.

“They were given more responsibi­lity this year. That has always been Rocket’s style and he has been able to see them perform under some real pressure this year.”

Academy coach Aaron Rogers has also been promoted to a developmen­t coach position, leaving the Suns in need of a new academy head.

The Suns have already hired Bulldogs fitness guru Justin Cordy and expect to further bolster their ranks for the pre-season with the appointmen­t of a biomechani­st or speciality kicking coach.

The Suns sit 11th for goalkickin­g accuracy conversion this season with a 50.1 per cent conversion rate.

Goal kicking was the order of the day at training yesterday.

It followed Saturday’s two-point win over Essendon where the wayward Suns failed to ice the game and almost let the game slip. Tom Lynch and Jack Martin were the main offenders, kicking 3.3 each. Defender Kade Kolodjashn­ij said the side could not afford to waste scoring opportunit­ies. “Last week we missed too many opportunit­ies, so the boys practised their set shots today,” Kolodjashn­ij said.

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