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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.


Assistant 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.

Assistant 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.

Assistant 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.

Assistant 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.


NEAFL Coach - Josh Fraser

After harbouring an ambition to pursue coaching and development opportunities in the AFL following his 12-month absence from the game, Fraser returned to the Gold Coast SUNS at the start of the 2013 Pre Season as development coach, before accepting the role of NEAFL coach following the departure of Shaun Hart.

The former GC SUNS ruckman has a great understanding of the club, and has demonstrated a real hunger to develop the playing list.


Development Coach - 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.

Coaching Advisor - Malcolm Blight

AFL Career:
Malcolm Blight AM has enjoyed tremendous success as both an AFL player and coach. Having played, coached and won a Brownlow Medal with the North Melbourne Football Club in the 70s, coached Geelong in three AFL Grand Finals and coached the Adelaide Crows to back-to-back Premierships in 1997-98, Blight is considered one of the AFL’s all-time Legends to have been involved in the AFL/VFL.  Originally joining the GC SUNS in 2009 as a board member, Blight stepped down as Director of Football to take up a part-time advisory role to GC SUNS coach Guy McKenna.