Guy McKenna failing at Gold Coast Suns
As the Gold Coast Suns close out their second year, it’s interesting to compare their first two seasons to the other new starters the AFL has had over the last 25 years.
For mine they have flown under the radar this year, and Guy McKenna has escaped some real hard scrutiny, mainly because the hard reality isn’t pleasant.
It looks unlikely they will win either of their last two games against either the Crows or Blues, so they will be left with a grand total of five wins in two seasons.
How does this compare to other new starters over the years?
West Coast Eagles won 24 games; Brisbane Bears 13; Adelaide Crows 21; Fremantle Dockers 15, and Port Adelaide won 19 games.
Even the ‘bad news’ Bears managed to double their wins. The diabolical Dockers tripled their total.
What about the first coaches? The Eagles’ Ron Alexander only lasted a season, and then John Todd two seasons.
The Bears Peter Knights was gone before the end of season three, while Graham Cornes had four years at the Crows.
Gerard Neesham also had four at the Dockers, while John Cahill had just the two years before Mark Williams took over.
The points difference for each club after their first completed season reads: Bears -553, Eagles -52, Crows -241, Dockers -158, Port -165.
The Suns are currently sitting on -893. Should they suffer significant defeats in their last two games, the total hurtles back towards over 1000 points in the red.
The last team to have two consecutive years of over -1000 was Fitzroy in 1995-1996. And we know what happened to them.
No side has had such a disastrous start in the last 25 years.
And while the club and the AFL have sold the “we are stockpiling talent” line, it is one case to acquire ability and another to develop it.
I would think at a minimum the Suns would have to win 6-8 games next season to show some improvement and guarantee Guy Mckenna his continuation into 2014.
With average home attendance of 13,500 at Metricon Stadium, the Suns needs to start building a winning culture, so as to ensure they build a quality long term culture and not one which plagued the Bears at the start of their life before moving permanently to Brisbane.
Let’s not forget the NRL has had the Giants, Seagulls, Gladiators, Chargers and now Titans all having a go at the Gold Coast, with the Titans being a reported $35 million earlier in the year.
As the Eagles proved with Malthouse, the Crows with Blight – and the Dockers have finally worked out with aquiring Lyon – the value of an experienced strong coach is crucial at the start of a clubs life.
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