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Football Staff


Football Operations

GM Football Operations - Marcus Ashcroft

Ashcroft was recruited to join the Brisbane Bears in 1989 and played over 150 consecutive games amongst his 318 career appearances (including 145 goals). He was at various points a key part of the leadership group although he never captained the club.

A three time premiership player with the Brisbane Lions, Ashcroft retired at the end of 2003, fittingly with an AFL premiership medallion.


Football Operations Coordinator - Scott Pyle

Football Administration Assistant - Darcie Finlayson

Coaching Staff

Senior Coach - Rodney Eade

Coaching Career
Rodney Eade became the second coach of the GC SUNS in October 2014, ending a three-year hiatus from senior coaching.

‘Rocket’ began his coaching career as the Brisbane Bears reserves coach in 1991, before joining North Melbourne as an assistant coach between 1992-1993. He then spent two seasons as the Kangaroos reserves coach before getting his first opportunity at senior coaching.

The 56-year-old became a senior coach in 1996 when he took the Sydney Swans to a Grand Final in his first season. Eade spent six-and-a-half seasons in the harbour city, taking the Swans to five finals series.

In 2004, Eade was appointed as the new senior coach at the Western Bulldogs for the 2005 season, ending two years of work spent in football media. In his first season at Whitten Oval, Eade took the battling Bulldogs to within a goal of a finals berth. By 2008, Eade had taken the club to a preliminary final appearance –the first time since 1998. In 2009 and 2010, the Western Bulldogs reached the penultimate week of the season again, before losing to St Kilda on both occasions.

Eade joined the SUNS after three seasons at Collingwood as the club’s Football and Coaching strategist, overseeing Nathan Buckley and the Magpies football department.

Playing Career
Eade began his playing career for Hawthorn whilst still attending school. Recruited from Glenorchy in Tasmania, Eade won a premiership in his maiden season before going on to win four flags (1976, 1978, 1983, 1986) during his time at the Hawks.

After 229 games in 12 seasons at Glenferrie Oval, ‘Rocket’ extended his career at the Brisbane Bears where he played a further 30 games to take his career tally to 259 games.


Defensive Coach - Andy Lovell

Playing Career:
Lovell was recruited to Melbourne from Tasmanian club Glenorchy and in his debut season played in their losing Grand Final to Hawthorn Football Club. A ruck-rover, Lovell was handy near goals and in a game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) against Richmond in 1993 he kicked a career best eight goals as his side won by a record 121 points.

The previous year he ran second in Melbourne's Best and fairest. Lovell was traded to West Coast for the 1996 AFL season and spent three years in their midfield before retiring.

Coaching Career:
He later became coach of the Sandringham Zebras and is currently an assistant coach at the Gold Coast SUNS.

Midfield Coach - Matthew Primus

Coaching Career
Matthew Primus joined the GC SUNS as Assistant Coach in 2012, where he will develop the club’s young midfield talent. After retiring from the AFL in 2004, Primus moved into an assistant coaching role at the Port Adelaide under mentor Mark Williams. When Williams stepped down as senior coach midway through the 2010 season, Primus initially took over caretaker coach, before being appointed the top job after finishing the season with 5 wins out of 7 games. Primus then spent three seasons as senior coach as the club, before joining the GC SUNS.

Playing Career
Primus began his career with the Fitzroy Football Club, where he played 20 games and kicked 5 goals in his first season, emerging as one of club’s key position players. After Fitzroy finished their last season in the AFL, Primus signed with Port Adelaide as an uncontracted zone player before the club’s first season in the AFL.

Primus enjoyed a successful and illustrious career with Port Adelaide, captaining the club from 2001-2005 whilst establishing himself as one of the games top ruckmen.

Midfield Coach - Dean Solomon

Playing Career:
Solomon made his AFL debut in 1998 for Essendon and was part of their 2000 premiership team.

On 13 October 2006 Solomon was traded to the Fremantle Dockers, following a trade of draft picks No. 42 and No. 47, Fremantle also gained pick No. 52 from the Bombers. He links up with close friend, forward Chris Tarrant who was traded to the Dockers on the same day from Collingwood.

On 18 February 2010 Solomon announced his retirement from AFL football due to a painful degenerative knee injury.

He joined the new Gold Coast Football Club as an assistant coach in the months before they entered the AFL for the 2011 season.

Offensive Coach - Ashley Prescott

Ashley Prescott started his role with the GC SUNS in early 2014.

Prescott played 128 games with Richmond and Fremantle between 1993-2001, before going on to coach Claremont in the WAFL (2004-07). Prescott continued his coaching career spending three years respectively with Essendon (2008-2010) and Fremantle (2011-13).

He brings a wealth of knowledge to the Gold Coast SUNS having played and coached at the elite level for over 20 years.

Head of Development - Matthew Lappin

Coaching Career:
Matthew Lappin joins the GC SUNS as the club's development coach following stints at Collingwood and Carlton since retiring from playing in 2007.

During his four seasons at the Magpies, Lappin oversaw the forward line under Nathan Buckley and Mick Malthouse. Before that, the former All-Australian spent three seasons at the Blues in an assistant coaching capacity.

Playing Career:
Lappin began his playing career at St Kilda in 1994, where he spent four seasons at Moorabbin, playing in the 1997 Grand Final loss to Adelaide.

At the end of 1998, Lappin crossed to Carlton where he carved out a long career at Princes Park. He earned All-Australian recognition in 2004, led the goal kicking in 2001 and played in Carlton’s losing Grand Final in 1999.

Lappin retired at the end of 2007 after 251 games and 247 goals during his time at the Blues and St Kilda.


Development Coach - Max Rooke

Coaching Career:
Max Rooke joins the football department as a development coach at Metricon Stadium following four seasons in a development role at Geelong.

After retiring at the end of 2010, Rooke transitioned into coaching in 2012, working under Cats senior coach Chris Scott at Simonds Stadium.

Rooke has spent the last four season working with Geelong’s young crop of players in a development role.

Playing Career:
In a career that spanned nine season and 135 games in Geelong, Rooke played a pivotal role in the Cats premierships in 2007 and 2009.

The hard nosed utility was used all over the ground, with his versatility and attack on the ball his greatest attributes.

In 2007, as Geelong marched towards their drought breaking premiership, the Cats sent Rooke to Germany in a radical move to find a resolution for his troublesome hamstring. The inspired move saw him return for the Qualifying final and play a role in the Grand Final victory over Port Adelaide.

A knee injury in 2010 brought Rooke’s career to a premature end.


Development Coach - Aaron Rogers

Aaron Rogers transitions from an academy head coaching role into a development role at the Gold Coast SUNS after working under the guidance of academy manager Jason Torney in recent years.

Rogers was a member of the 2001 super draft and after a fleeting career at the highest level he carved out a distinguished career in Canberra and in Queensland, including a premiership at Morningside in 2010.


Development/NEAFL Coach - Stephen Daniel

Coaching Career:
Steve Daniel joins Gold Coast’s coaching team as the SUNS NEAFL coach following a distinguished career coaching at local level around the country.

The experienced mentor led Labrador to the 2015 QAFL premiership and before that he spent a long time coaching in country Victoria for strong Goulburn Valley sides Tatura and Seymour.

The elite environment is not something new to Daniel, having previously spent time working at Carlton under Denis Pagan and with the Northern Bullants in the Victorian Football League.