Suns AFL coach timing all wrong: Alexander

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    One of the country’s most successful coaches says AFL clubs need to do a better job of recruiting a coach to suit their needs at a given time.

    Australian netball mentor Lisa Alexander has criticised Gold Coast’s sacking of head coach Rodney Eade, saying he would be the perfect coach to lead the Suns now, not when he was hired three seasons ago.

    Melbourne-based Alexander is heavily involved in the AFL world, invited by then-AFL football operations boss Mark Evans to speak at and observe the inaugural level four coaching course in 2015.

    Many of the men in line to replace Eade were part of that class, one Alexander described as exemplary.

    But she said it was unfortunate that the club is looking for a replacement at all.

    “It’s quite a good group … (Carlton assistant) John Barker comes to mind as accomplished and ready … whether he wants that challenge is probably the real question,” she said.

    “I saw Stuart Dew and Adam Kingsley in action … there’s enough quality there.

    “But clubs, other than probably Brisbane and Carlton of late, don’t do enough work on identifying who they need at that time.”

    She said Eade’s expertise had him placed as the ideal candidate to take the team forward from this point, not when he inherited a club in desperate need of structural change three seasons ago.

    “Rodney should be taking over now – that’s his expertise,” the Diamonds coach said.

    Evans is now chief executive of the Gold Coast Suns, and could easily lean on Alexander for advice as he continues the internal review that forced Eade’s exit and may result in more changes before the season is out.

    “You’ve got to look after people in this industry; even though it is cut-throat, you need to be strategic and use the talent that is there,” Alexander said when asked if other Suns coaching staff should follow Eade out the door.

    The Diamonds hold every major trophy and will defend Commonwealth Games gold on home soil next April.

    Melbourne-based Alexander celebrated six years in the Diamonds job this week.

    “I’ve been coaching for a long time – I’m no Johnny-come-lately – it’s a very interesting job,” she said.

    “We want repeated success and it never gets hard to stay motivated, because things are always changing.”

    © AAP 2017
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