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Gold Coast sacks coach Guy McKenna

Suns coy on McKenna's sacking Gold Coast chairman John Witheriff refuses to reveal why the Suns sacked Guy McKenna
Gold Coast coach Guy McKenna has had his tenure at the club ended  - ${keywords}
Gold Coast coach Guy McKenna has had his tenure at the club ended
I haven't spoken to Bomber Thompson. There has been no one from the Gold Coast Suns speak to Bomber Thompson
Suns chairman John Witheriff
GOLD Coast chairman John Witheriff says no one from the club has spoken with Mark Thompson, despite the two-time premiership coach revealing he has been made aware of the club's interest in his services after sacking coach Guy McKenna.

The Suns sacked McKenna on Wednesday and Witheriff insisted it was a mutual decision for the club and its foundation coach to part ways, while admitting McKenna was "naturally disappointed" with the events. 


In a bizarre press conference, Witheriff steadfastly refused to be drawn on the review that led to McKenna's dismissal and said the club would not comment publicly on the process it would undertake to appoint a new coach. 

"I haven't spoken to Bomber Thompson. There has been no one from the Gold Coast Suns speak to Bomber Thompson," Witheriff said.

"Contrary to some media reports, Bomber Thompson hasn't been to the Gold Coast and hasn't visited our club."

Witheriff said the Suns had yet to decide on a process to replace McKenna, who was the club's foundation coach and had been in charge of all four seasons in the AFL.

He said the Suns board would decide on a structure to identify a new coach in coming days.


"We will act professionally, with respect and in a confidential way in setting up a process to find a new coach," he said.

Witheriff failed to identify exactly why they cut ties with a man that still had 12 months remaining on his contract.
 
He continually referred to McKenna's "extraordinary contribution" but did not want to elaborate on why, when, who was involved, or what ultimately cost him his job.
 
Witheriff deflected questions and said they would be answered in coming days.


It was a strange way to acknowledge a man who has been at the club since 2008.
 
"Today is about showing the level of respect to a fellow who started this club before there was a club," he said.
 
Former Geelong and Essendon coach Thompson looms large as McKenna's most likely replacement after he reportedly confirmed he had been approached by a third party to gauge his interest in the job. 
 
However it is unlikely much will happen in the near future as it is believed Thompson is headed overseas for a two-week holiday on Thursday morning.

"I’ve been told [Gold Coast] are coming. I haven’t acted on it, but that’s what’s happening," Thompson told the Herald Sun. 

Asked if he would coach a third club and, in particular Gold Coast, he said: "If you’re going to coach again, that would be the club you would look at.

"There’s a lot of upside there."

Should Thompson be offered - and accept - the Suns' position, he would be reunited with his former star, Gary Ablett, whom he coached to two premierships at Geelong. 

The pair endured a strained relationship during Ablett's final year at the Cats in 2010, reportedly not speaking to one another for five months before the now-dual Brownlow medallist accepted a lucrative offer to join the Suns. 

McKenna's dismissal comes less than eight months after he was re-signed for the 2015 season.

The Suns looked destined for the first finals appearance in their four-year history before falling away dramatically to lose 10 of their final 13 games.

They finished 12th with a 10-12 record.

McKenna finished his four AFL seasons at the club with a 24-64 win-loss record.

"As he has done since being appointed in August 2008, he put the interests of the club and our future ambitions first," Witheriff said in the statement. 

McKenna said in the same statement he would have preferred to remain senior coach at the club he had guided since August 2008 but was proud of his achievements.