Sun has set on Ablett's time on Gold Coast
THEY've sent Rodney Eade packing.
Now it's time for the Gold Coast Suns to wish Gary Ablett a fond farewell too.
For both his sake and the sake of the embattled club.
It's time for (yet another) fresh start on the Gold Coast. Another clean slate.
And that means sending away any baggage that may be weighing them down.
They had no choice but part company with the coach simply due to the fact they had a deplorable 16-1-46 win-daw-loss record under him.
But what he achieved off the field should not be underestimated.
If nothing else, he groomed two outstanding young leaders in Steven May and Tom Lynch to take the reins.
Significantly, away from Ablett.
And it's in the hands of that pair and players such as Touk Miller and Peter Wright that the club's future is in.
Players who want to be there.
Players who want to drive the culture - or create one.
Ablett, on the other hand, does not.
And really who could blame him?
He's provided incredible service from day one. Yes on massive bucks.
But he's held up his part of the bargain - taken his game and his leadership to another level from his time at Geelong.
But after seven years, it's time for the Suns to move on.
Let him return to the Cats.
However the deal gets deal, just make it happen. Despite him having another year to go on his contract.
Let him rest his dodgy hamstrings down south. He's no use to the Suns any more.
As it stands, they're getting him every second week. If that.
He's played 34 games in the past three seasons.
A new coach shouldn't have to deal with the lingering doubts over Ablett.
And being the honourable man he is. A true champion. He wouldn't want that either for the new boss.
They have an entire club to sort out. One that since entering the competition in 2011, have won just 40 games, drawn one and lost 111.
That's enough of a mess.
Who's gonna clean it up?
The experienced man (Eade) didn't work.
So do they turn to a young untried coach who can grow with the team?
John Barker is deserved frontrunner. He has all the credentials after time as an assistant at Hawthorn, St Kilda and now Carlton.
He was in the running for the Lions job last year and will put his hand up again for another Queensland gig.
Don't discount Brad Scott though. He's tied to North Melbourne, but both the Roos and the former Lions premiership defender may want a fresh start themselves.
He's done an outstanding job with an average list at North.
Capable of doing the heavy lifting, he's the sort of character the Suns could do with.
And he doesn't mind making the hard decisions, such as letting go champions (ie Brent Harvey).
He knows the club's bigger than any individual.