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SACKED: Sun sets on Eade's coaching career

Football

UPDATED | Gold Coast have sacked coach Rodney Eade after three disappointing – but often injury-wrecked – seasons at the helm of the AFL club.

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The Suns sit out of finals contention in 15th place this season under Eade, who previously coached at Sydney and the Western Bulldogs.

The club finished 16th and 15th in the past two years respectively.

The Suns started the season with expectations of its first finals appearance since its 2011 inception, but have only managed six wins with three rounds remaining.

Eade will not be in charge of the side against Brisbane at the Gabba on Saturday, with assistant coach Dean Solomon to take the reins for the remainder of the season, which also includes games against Essendon and Port Adelaide.

The win-loss ratio is not what we want it to be – not even close

Suns chairman Tony Cochrane said the club expected to reach the top-eight this year.

“I want to say I really thank Rodney for his input, impact and influence,” Cochrane told reporters today.

“These are difficult decisions to make.

“We did ask him to bring a new level of professionalism. Rodney had delivered that in spades and for that are are eternally grateful.

“There is no point gilding the lily. We have to look to our future.

“We had a strong belief we would challenge for the top eight this year.

“The win-loss ratio is not what we want it to be. Not even close.”

Evans said he broke the news to Eade last night and while the “very disappointed” coach did not agree with the decision, he accepted it and invited him in for a glass of wine.

The Suns have managed six wins from 19 games this season and have never reached the AFL finals in six years.

The match against Brisbane on Saturday would have been Eade’s 378th as an AFL coach, putting him equal 13th on the list of most games coached in VFL/AFL history, alongside Checker Hughes.

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.

The Suns have endured the departures of top-end talent including Jaeger O’Meara, Harley Bennell, Zac Smith, Dion Prestia and Charlie Dixon, while marquee man Gary Ablett his struggled in recent seasons with injury after winning a Brownlow with the Suns in 2013.

Cochrane were adamant they had not started the search for Eade’s fulltime replacement.

Current AFL assistant coaches Stewart Dew (Sydney), John Barker (Carlton) and Brett Rattan (Hawthorn) are among the contenders being thrown up to take the reigns.

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.

-AAP

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