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NEAFL coach departs for Southport

Gold Coast SUNS NEAFL Coach Stephen Daniel has signed with the Southport Sharks FC as senior coach.

Daniel who recently guided the GC SUNS NEAFL team to its best ever finish with a Preliminary Final berth thanked the club for the opportunity.

“It was a very tough decision to leave Gold Coast. Mark Evans and Marcus Ashcroft have been terrific for me,” he said.

“(At an AFL club) you’re given listed players and then lots of academy players and you have to gel them all together each week.

“That did excite me and I did enjoy it, but the excitement now for me is to go back and coach your own club again, and put your own list together.”

GC SUNS General Manager – Football Operations Marcus Ashcroft credited Daniel with improving the competiveness and performance of the NEAFL team.

“Stephen coached our NEAFL team over the last two seasons culminating in a Preliminary Final appearance two weeks ago. He has done a fine job in developing a high standard in our second tier competition with some great results.”

“We wish Stephen all the very best in his new role with the Sharks, a role that strengthens our relationship with our Patron Partner and allows Stephen to remain in close contact with our club in the future.“

An experienced coach at local and state level, Daniel led the Labrador Tigers to the 2015 QAFL premiership, breaking a 21-year premiership drought to defeat reigning champions Morningside and win the QAFL flag.

He previously enjoyed a stint at Carlton where he coached the club’s VFL-affiliated Northern Bullants. Daniel has also held positions at Tatura, Seymour, as well as coaching Queensland’s state and country teams.