Suns coach faces firing squad as board orders review
GOLD Coast have lost patience with their under-performing side and have ordered a comprehensive review into the entire football program that could sound the death knell for coach Rodney Eade.
A season that began with high hopes for the club has deteriorated into another wasted year of inconsistent effort and weak surrenders and out-of-contract Eade is now at long odds to receive a new deal.
The last time the Suns conducted a major review into former coach Guy McKenna it was conducted by football manager Marcus Ashcroft.
However this time CEO Mark Evans has been handed the responsibility and the positions of Ashcroft and list manager Scott Clayton will also be assessed.
Every Suns assistant coach is also out of contract which could mean wholesale changes are on the horizon.
Suns chairman Tony Cochrane said the board needed to know if it had the right personnel in key positions to take the side to the finals.
He said the calls for a review were not a knee-jerk reaction to the weak effort the Suns produced in the 67-point loss to the Swans in Sydney on Saturday.
"At our last board meeting the board instructed Mark Evans to undertake a wide ranging assessment of our football program,” Cochrane said.
"With his experience and expertise there is no person better placed to assess our entire program than Mark.
"We need to make sure we are doing everything we possibly can to improve year on year, that's what our members expect.”
The Suns play Collingwood at Metricon Stadium this weekend in a match that pits the two coaches under the most pressure in the competition against each other.
Nathan Buckley has already started to concede his future is bleak, saying the Pies' loss to Essendon on Saturday was a "tipping point” and the first time he had noticed they had "lost hope”.
The veteran coach has a point. The Suns are young and inexperienced.
But that also means they are at their most coachable. The board has instructed Evans to determine if Eade can develop a young list.
The Round 1 QClash loss and then the weak effort against GWS the following week instantly erased the optimism the club felt for the season ahead after two years of underachievement - due largely to a horror injury toll.
At that stage Evans backed the football department and offered any assistance they required to reverse their fortunes.
Then came the tipping point, the shocking loss to Port Adelaide in China in Round 8.
It was the biggest game in the club's history and they failed to offer a whimper.
Some Suns insiders felt Eade had given a side prone to looking for excuses an out-clause with his comments about the travel arrangements.
Eade was chastised for making the remarks.
The capitulation against Melbourne in Alice Springs in Round 10 also hurt.