Main content

Dees happy for assistants to rise with Suns

Melbourne assistant Jade Rawlings is in the mix for the vacant Gold Coast senior job - AFL,Melbourne Demons,Gold Coast Suns,Simon Goodwin
Melbourne assistant Jade Rawlings is in the mix for the vacant Gold Coast senior job
If they've got ambitions to go on and be senior coaches, we're all for that
Simon Goodwin on assistants Jade Rawlings and Brendan McCartney

MELBOURNE coach Simon Goodwin has endorsed Gold Coast candidates Jade Rawlings and Brendan McCartney, saying the Demons were prepared to support their senior ambitions.

Rawlings and McCartney have emerged this week as candidates for the position vacated by Rodney Eade, joining leading contenders John Barker, Stuart Dew and Adam Kingsley.

Rawlings, the Demons' backline coach, presented to Gold Coast CEO Mark Evans and his selection panel in Melbourne last week, while Goodwin confirmed McCartney, who leads Melbourne's development program, was also of interest to the Suns. 

"We've got a couple of guys going through that process in Brendan McCartney and Jade Rawlings, and as a club we're really hell-bent on developing our people," Goodwin told SEN on Friday morning.

"If they've got ambitions to go on and be senior coaches, we're all for that. That's how the industry works.

"We're in a position now of the unknown. We don't know what's going on. In some ways, they're still working through what's going on.

"Where we see them now, we see them as Melbourne people and we want the best for them."

Gold Coast's first round of formal interviews, which included a presentation from Barker, took place last week amid an approach to Port Adelaide's contracted coach Ken Hinkley.

After the Power coach committed to serving his 2018 contract on Monday, ultimately extending for a further three seasons, the Suns were forced to turn their focus back to the untried coaching market.

It was revealed on Monday that Rawlings, who is a graduate of the Level Four course, had joined the race for the Suns position, also presenting to the Suns' selection panel in Melbourne last week.  

Carlton assistant Barker, 42, remains the favourite among the untried assistants after running second to Chris Fagan for the Brisbane Lions senior position last season.

Dew postponed his interview with the Suns due to the uncertainty around Hinkley's position, but was due to present to the selection panel this week.

McCartney, 56, coached the Western Bulldogs between 2012-14 and was credited with building the team's contested edge. He has had a similar impact with Melbourne's youngsters.

Former Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson, who is now an assistant under Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley, expressed his interest in a return to senior coaching on Friday.

Hawthorn great and former Geelong and Adelaide coach Gary Ayres also said he would be interested in the vacant Suns position.

Ayres, 56, has led Port Melbourne to the VFL Grand Final, which will be played against Richmond's VFL team on Sunday. 

"It would certainly be a challenge, there’s no doubt about that," Ayres said on SEN of taking on the Suns' job.

"We coach against AFL alignments every week (in the VFL) and we think we hold our own."