Published by Andrew Hamilton, 24 August 2018 on news.com.au
THE major clean-out at the Suns is underway with day’s clash with Geelong to be the last for a host of senior staffers.
There are also set to be a mass player turnover with up to 12 delistings and retirements expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
Foundation football department members Russell Butler and Andy Lovell, veteran high performance manager Justin Cordy and long-serving assistant coach Matthew Primus have all been shown the door.
The revamp will see physio Alex Rigby elevated to high performance manager and the welfare program rebranded the Personal Excellence department to be headed by Triple premiership Lion and foundation Suns’ staffer Shaun Hart who returned to the club from Port Adelaide last off-season.
The Suns see this as a key weapon in their player retention battle and will ask the AFL for extra funding to bolster the department.
Suns football manager Jon Haines said the club hoped to spend more on welfare than any other club in the competition from next year.
Rigby, who is the son of club doctor Barry Rigby and has been in charge of injury rehab at the club, beat-out an international field that included Adam Beard who has overseen strength and conditioning for the NFL’s Cleveland Browns and the British and Irish Lions rugby union, to win a major promotion.
“We were pleased with the strong level of interest in this position and also the quality of the candidates,” Haines said.
“And we were thrilled Alex presented so well and won the position.’’
Dew will bring two more of his own people into the coaching panel next year.
Former Lion Josh Drummond has been approached to fill one position.
There has now been an almost total clean-out at the club.
In the past two years the positions of chief executive, senior coach, captain, football manager, list manager, head of welfare and high performance have changed hands.
The Suns are expected to be busy during the trade period also.
They have been linked to Tiger Anthony Miles, Swans pair Nic Newman and Jake Lloyd, Bulldogs Mitch Wallis, Collingwood’s Adam Oxley and Geelong’s George Horlin-Smith.
Gold Coast are also likely to get priority access to two players from the nation’s state leagues as part of an AFL bailout package.
They are set to select South Fremantle’s Marlion Pickett and Werribee VFL standout Sam Collins.