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Dew ready for baptism of fire at the Suns

Football

New Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew says he can sell a successful future at the Suns to the AFL club’s star forward Tom Lynch.

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The two-time premiership player and highly-respected Sydney assistant was announced on a three-year deal as Gold Coast’s new coach today.

Having also won a premiership with Sydney as an assistant in 2012, Dew says he knows what makes a winning side and is confident he can translate that success to the struggling club.

“I’m excited by the challenge; I’ve been in three great environments and have got a clear view of what I think delivers a successful environment,” he said.

“The foundations are certainly here but it’s what goes on inside the four walls now and I’m looking forward to connecting that group.”

Gold Coast are likely to lose inaugural captain Gary Ablett, who has requested a trade back to Geelong for the second successive year.

Co-captain Lynch will become a free agent at the end of next season and will field massive offers from Victorian clubs.

But Dew said he had been in contact with Lynch and was confident he could convince the young star to stay put.

“I’ll make sure they are really clear that I’ve got clear view of what a successful environment looks like and I’d love them to be part of it,” the coach said.

“I love watching Tom Lynch; I’ve admired him from far and I’d love the opportunity to work with him.”

The 38-year-old beat Carlton assistant John Barker and newly-appointed Hawthorn deputy Scott Burns for the role.

The Suns finished second-last this season, having finished no higher than 12th in their six seasons.

By contrast, fellow expansion club GWS started a year later and have made the last two preliminary finals.

Inaugural coach Guy McKenna was sacked at the end of the 2014 season and Rodney Eade suffered the same fate with three games to go this year.

Dean Solomon saw out the season as interim senior coach and he is one of several Suns assistants who are yet to have their positions confirmed.

Dew said he would “urgently” begin the process to appoint his assistants, but would not confirm if any of the current crop would remain at the club.

Dew played 180 games for Port Adelaide and was a member of their 2004 premiership team.

He retired at the end of 2006, but former Port Adelaide assistant coach Alastair Clarkson lured him back to playing under him at Hawthorn, where he starred in the 2008 flag-winning side.

Dew retired from playing for good at the end of 2009 and joined Sydney in a coaching role.

He said Sydney’s style could be adapted on the Gold Coast.

“It’s an 18-man offence and defence and certainly there are some high-quality players there, but they play together and that’s what I’m looking forward to getting the Gold Coast Suns to do,” he said.

“You’ve only got to look at what Richmond achieved on the back of that.”

Dew has strong links to Gold Coast chief executive Mark Evans form their time together at Hawthorn.

“Stuart will be given the resources and time it takes (to improve the club) and if we measure improvement we know that at the end of that we’ll have the success that we desire,” Evans said.

– AAP

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