External expectation for Gold Coast does not seem particularly high heading into the 2018 season.
Understandable given the club is yet to play finals football in its history. And another poor season in 2017 saw Rodney Eade lose his job.
Stuart Dew was appointed senior coach in October last year with the mammoth task of improving the performances of a club that finished the year in 17th position with only six wins.
The 38 year-old is under no illusion of the work required in turning around the fortunes of the struggling outfit.
“My experience tells me that the success we all crave comes on the back of genuine buy-in and commitment from all and a sustained selfless team approach, that’s where I want to take the Gold Coast Suns.”
The playing career
As a player Stuart Dew enjoyed a career that most players would happily take.
The booming left footer was part of the inaugural Port Adelaide AFL squad and was a member of the 2004 Premiership team.
He also played in Central District’s first SANFL Premiership in 2000.
The utility retired at the end of 2006 but was back in the AFL ranks with Hawthorn for the 2008 and 2009 seasons.
Stuart Dew is very fondly remembered for his performance in the 2008 Grand Final and especially that cameo in the third quarter which included two goals.
The South Australian finished his AFL career playing 206 games, a return of 265 goals and two premiership medallions.
Move into coaching
Dew credits Clarkson with not only resurrecting his playing career but also the role in his development as a coach.
“To be honest I owe so much to Alastair Clarkson. I think I would still be involved in footy but at what level I am not sure.”
Dew has been an assistant at Sydney since 2009 and multiple clubs have shown interest in acquiring his services. This included Paul Roos whom Dew worked with at the Swans and was keen to lure his former assistant to the Demons.
While remaining loyal to the Swans, it seemed inevitable a senior role would eventually come. And while Swans coach John Longmire would loved to have kept his senior assistant, he was full of praise for Dew when it was announced he would be moving to the Suns.
“He’s worked in the development area, in our defence, our midfield and for the last few years as senior assistant. We’ve broadened his role to include discussions with the board. And we’ve been committed to help him become a senior coach and we couldn’t be happier for him.”
Can the Suns rise?
Current odds at Sportsbet certainly confirms the lack of faith in the Suns from the general public. Currently listed as the team least likely to enjoy Premiership success in 2018 and paying $11 for finals qualification.
While no one is suggesting Gold Coast will be doing a Richmond in 2018, the arrival of Stuart Dew will have a positive on-field impact.
A history of success at every club he has been involved with for twenty years is a good foundation. CEO Mark Evans is a smart operator. The appointment of Stuart Dew should be a decision that is vindicated over time.