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With Stuart Dew’s sacking, the Gold Coast Suns’ lengthy seek for AFL success continues


English is typically a posh language to grasp. Not simply to non-native audio system looking for their means in a brand new linguistic panorama, but in addition with those that grew up with it.

Generally context issues greater than the precise phrases spoken.

Final week Gold Coast Suns membership chairman Mark Evans stood in entrance of a ready media pack and voiced his help of embattled coach Stuart Dew.

“All I can say is that he is (Dew) bought my help to get on with the job, handle our gamers and workers in addition to we will,” Evans stated.

“I’ve stated time and time once more, Stuey’s our coach, contracted for this yr and subsequent yr.

“[If he] does job, he’ll be contracted properly into the longer term.”

Because the late, nice John Clarke as soon as stated within the ABC TV present The Video games, having a frontrunner’s full help is usually the final sound folks hear.

The Suns soccer division undoubtedly spent the final week getting ready to point out they had been prepared to struggle for his or her coach. For no less than the primary half in opposition to league pace-setters Port Adelaide, that resolve was clear.


However very like many latest Suns seasons, that resolve tailed off close to the top. As a substitute of a well-known victory to again the coach within the face of accelerating scrutiny, the Suns as a substitute suffered one other honourable loss to an excellent facet.

It wasn’t sufficient to avoid wasting Dew. One would possibly surprise if a win even would have been.

Dew has the second greatest profitable proportion of any coach sacked mid-season since 2000. The Suns are nonetheless in finals competition, with a schedule that affords them the actual probability to struggle into the eight in the event that they carry out.

Gold Coast at the moment are trying to find their fourth everlasting coach of their thirteenth yr within the league. Dew leaves because the membership’s longest serving and most profitable coach thus far.

Dew course of

The feelings round any sacking or redundancy are all the time uncooked.

That claims nothing of job losses performed out in public. Each man and his canine has an opinion on the standard of a coach’s efficiency, noticed solely by way of the lens of a tv display screen from the consolation of a lounge chair.

In actuality the standard of a lot of a coach’s efficiency is essentially unobservable from exterior the 4 partitions of a membership. The one wider publicity most non-hardcore followers get is the three hours or so throughout a recreation, plus some restricted pre and put up recreation media alternatives.

Three or 4 hours of a 60- or 80-hour work week is not a lot, however there are some on-field classes that may be gleaned.

Coming into the yr the Suns had been anticipated to strengthen their strongest space — their midfield group, and their skill to attain from clearances. Regardless of centrepiece ahead Ben King lacking final season, they had been comparatively stable on this space in 2022.

Even with dynamic stoppage weapon Izak Rankine leaving the membership within the low season, the Suns have been probably the most damaging golf equipment within the league at scoring from stoppages of their attacking zone.

The Suns have been capable of set their most damaging movers into area, inflicting suits in defensive sides.

Nevertheless, this dominance hasn’t translated up the bottom.

This yr the Suns have struggled to get their stoppage mixture proper throughout a lot of the midfield space, together with within the centre bounce. What ought to be a energy for the membership has as a substitute been one in every of its largest weaknesses.

It isn’t a query of expertise — with the Suns boasting Touk Miller, Matt Rowell, Noah Anderson and Jarrod Witts of their primary unit. As a substitute, it is probably one in every of predictability and stability, and discovering these line-breaking skills to go with the arduous ball-winning duo of Rowell and Miller.

Miller’s damage enforced absence allowed Dew and co to experiment with extra dynamic movers to spherical out the midfield group, with little defensive detriment. Interim coach, and beforehand Dew’s assistant, Steven King will probably have additional licence to experiment, which can result in an actual quick time period acquire for the Suns.

Talking of defensive detriment, members of the Suns’ defensive unit have gained plaudits in recent times, however one clear difficulty has emerged over time.

Whereas the Suns have had a plethora of gamers ready and prepared to win intercepts and kill contests, they’ve been largely unable to transition the ball successfully up the bottom.

The Suns have tried to plug the opening with a number of established gamers, comparable to Rory Atkins, Oleg Markov, Ben Lengthy, Charlie Constable and Brandon Ellis, alongside their in-house expertise with patchy success. This yr the Suns have tended to play taller sides, with arguably their greatest discipline kick Jack Lukosius taking part in largely within the ahead line.

Stopping opposition sides from scoring and having the ability to transition the ball ahead is a nice stability, and this yr the Suns have most likely erred on the fallacious facet.

A future Dew level

Regardless of their present ladder place of thirteenth, the Suns sit only a recreation and a half (and proportion) out of the eight. The Suns additionally face lots of the different groups battling for the underside half of the eight within the run house.

The timing was probably proper from a monetary viewpoint for the Suns, with Dew’s reported six-month payout clause which means that their complete senior coach wage invoice is essentially restricted to at least one coach together. New coach King may have an actual probability to impression the finals race.

If he can try this, he would possibly simply win the job.

A caretaker usually wants no less than a month of video games in cost, to have a win-loss report above 50-50, and to enhance on the report of the earlier coach to win the total time gig in keeping with evaluation by the ABC final yr.

With Dew’s report of seven wins from 16 video games, maybe 4 or 5 wins (and a finals look) from the remaining seven would possibly impress the board sufficient.

The elephant within the room is Damien Hardwick, and his future plans. Prior to now the Suns have been linked to different established coaches comparable to Alastair Clarkson and Ken Hinkley, with out something substantive taking place. Hardwick has introduced that he’ll hearken to the Suns’ pitch. That’s, if that pitch hasn’t already been communicated.

For Hardwick, the Suns represents a membership with a particularly gifted listing, a comparatively low media profile and with out the luggage of a significant, coterie backed membership.

Oh, and the climate is usually good too, rendering sleeves ineffective.

That expertise might be crucial half. The Suns nonetheless challenge to have one of many stronger lists within the league within the coming years. Regardless of some seemingly questionable listing choices in recent times, the Suns have an unbelievable quantity of extraordinarily expert younger gamers throughout a lot of the bottom.

This projection additionally would not take into account their upcoming bumper draft crop, with three of the most effective 15 skills part of the Gold Coast Academy and prone to head to the membership within the low season.

The Suns have additionally largely been capable of lock in most of their latest excessive draft picks for the long term for the primary time of their quick historical past. Dew’s function on this cultural change cannot be understated.

Whatever the course that the Suns select to go, any future success for the membership will probably be constructed on Dew’s shoulders


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