Nick Malceski looks on during a Gold Coast training session in 2018. Picture: AFL Photos

FORMER Sydney and Gold Coast defender Nick Malceski is returning to the club where he finished his AFL career in the latest move by new Suns coach Damien Hardwick.

The 39-year-old has been signed as a development coach at Heritage Bank Stadium, replacing Jackson Kornberg who held that position across the past two seasons. 

Malceski moved to Gold Coast on a three-year deal at the end of 2014 after playing 176 games for the Swans, but was forced to retire due to a knee injury after playing 34 times across two seasons in Queensland. 

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The 2012 premiership player transitioned into coaching with the Suns, starting with the club's Academy before coaching the NEAFL side during his initial five-year coaching stint at the club.

Malceski coached Labrador in the QAFL in 2021 after leaving Gold Coast and earned coach of the year honours that season before departing the club after two years in the role.

The Victorian spent the 2023 season as senior assistant coach at Broadbeach. 

Nick Malceski and Gary Ablett celebrate a goal during Gold Coast's clash with Richmond in round 12, 2016. Picture: AFL Photos

Kornberg has returned to Melbourne after joining the Suns at the end of 2021 as VFL coach, following a successful stint with the Sandringham Dragons in the Coates Talent League. 

The 30-year-old was a development coach working under Rhyce Shaw last season. 

Senior assistant coach Steven King has attracted interest from rival clubs but the club expects him to remain in 2024. 

The former Geelong captain joined Gold Coast ahead of the 2022 season and is contracted for next season.

Steven King during the R21 match between Gold Coast and Adelaide at Adelaide Oval on August 5, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Gold Coast poached Geelong assistant coach Shaun Grigg last month to reunite with Hardwick in a coaching capacity after playing in the 2017 premiership at Richmond. 

The 35-year-old spent four seasons at GMHBA Stadium, the first two as a development coach and the past two as Chris Scott's assistant. 

Hardwick signed a six-year deal with the Suns in August after his shock decision to walk away from his role at Punt Road after round 10.

The Suns' first-to-fourth-year players report back for pre-season training early next month.