Gold Coast assistant coach Dean Solomon is the best man to lead the Suns this weekend, but chief executive Mark Evans says the AFL club has not given a thought to who will coach them beyond this season.
Speaking on Tuesday as they announced the sacking of Rodney Eade, Evans and club chairman Tony Cochrane were adamant they had not started the search for his replacement.
Current AFL assistant coaches Stuart Dew (Sydney), John Barker (Carlton) and Brett Ratten (Hawthorn) are among the contenders being thrown up to take over from Eade.
Admitting there was an “experience vacuum” at the club, Cochrane would not be drawn on whether they would attempt to lure a veteran coach or take a chance on someone new.
“We honestly have not considered a replacement, I promise you we have not spent a known second of time considering who his replacement may be,” Cochrane said.
Cochrane said the board unanimously endorsed the decision to part ways with Eade after Evans presented the findings from an ongoing review on Monday.
Solomon will coach the side for the remaining three games of the season, Eade closing with 16 wins from 63 games to his name since arriving on the Gold Coast at the start of the 2015 season.
“I haven’t spoken to anybody about being senior coach of Gold Coast Suns for next year,” Evans said.
“He (Solomon) has that level of respect for them and they have that for him and that makes him quite clearly the best person to galvanise what we need to do now.”
Eade told the Herald Sun that he was disappointed, but accepted the decision.
“I’m too experienced and been through a lot to be bitter – bitter is not an emotion,” he said.
The remainder of the football department is under serious examination following another underwhelming season, in which the Suns sit 15th.
The Suns sacked inaugural coach Guy McKenna at the end of the 2014 season, bringing in Eade from Collingwood where he was an assistant to Nathan Buckley.
While the Suns have struggled and never finished higher than 12th in six seasons, fellow expansion side Greater Western Sydney have excelled in the past two years, making the preliminary finals last year and sitting second in 2017.
Evans indicated there could be more changes as they seek to emulate the Giants’ rise.
“Rodney took us to a level and now we’ve decided it’s time to have a change of senior coach to go to the next level,” he said.
“Of course we’ll get the best coach to take us to that.”
Adding to the Suns’s woes, co-captain Tom Lynch will miss the last three games of the season with a knee injury.