THE SHADOW over Stuart Dew's future has been lifted, with the Gold Coast coach inking a new two-year contract that keeps him at the Suns until at least the end of 2024.

Dew has been at the centre of speculation surrounding his job since late last year, but the club has seen enough to rubber-stamp him as its main man.

Speaking exclusively to AFL.com.au, Dew said he kept things simple as scrutiny over his position swirled, and the spectre of Alastair Clarkson loomed.

"It sounds pretty boring, but I've asked myself 'what am I here to do and what do people need from me?' and I've tried to deliver that," Dew said.

"You spend every day, every minute here trying to get the club, the players, the staff to maximise their potential and I'm honoured to be trusted with that for another two years.

"I felt like every inch of my energy and focus needed to be exactly where it needed to be.

"I just had this thing in my head that if it was one or two per cent off it was going to be a self-fulfilling thing that I wasn't going to be here.

"I put every inch of my energy into the club and people and I feel like personally I've been rewarded, but collectively we've been rewarded by everyone's efforts this year."

Gold Coast players celebrate a goal against the Western Bulldogs in round 10, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Progress has been slow and methodical for Dew since taking over from Rodney Eade prior to the 2018 season.

The Suns won just 19 games and drew one in his first four seasons and underwent a complete overhaul of both the playing list and football department.

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Just 15 players remain from 2018 as they "cut deep".

The signs of progress have been clear in 2022, sporting a 7-8 record, a healthy percentage of 109 (up from 76 last year), and genuinely challenging every top-eight team it has faced.

Stuart Dew at a Gold Coast training session on May 10, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Dew said he never lost confidence, despite a 2-5 record entering a fortnight against high-flying Sydney and Fremantle.

"That junction keeps coming up," he said.

"I remember talking to (football boss) Wayne Campbell and (list manager) Craig Cameron and said 'we're building here'.

"I had a lot of confidence in what we were doing."

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Perhaps Dew's biggest battle over his almost five seasons has been rectifying a retention issue that has dogged the club since its inception.

Co-captains Tom Lynch and Steven May left after Dew's first season in charge, but top-five draft picks Ben King, Jack Lukosius, Izak Rankine, Matt Rowell, Noah Anderson and Mac Andrew have all extended their stays in a show of faith.

"It's validation, it gives us confidence – and I always say us because these players aren't just dealing with me and me alone," he said.

Matt Rowell and Izak Rankine look on before the R11 clash between Gold Coast and Hawthorn at TIO Stadium on May 28, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

"The vision was there, then we got absolute buy-in from the staff and senior players.

"I feel like we're starting to play a consistent brand of footy that people can expect.

"I'm really proud of our people, they support me on and off the field and I think that's where I feel extremely lucky.

"The light at the end of the tunnel is there, we've just got to run towards it as quick as we can."