With the 2019 season in the books, Senior Coach Stuart Dew has taken time to reflect on an eventful second year at the helm.
The season yielded three thrilling wins in the opening four games of the season, which Dew has identified as some of the highlights of the year.
“We had a couple of good wins early but then also our competitiveness across the year (was a highlight),” Dew told SUNS Media.
“I know the back end of the year we had some poor games but even in the Essendon game I think we showed some of the things we’ve been working on and didn’t quite get over the line.
“There’s been a lot of individual growth and now it’s about making sure we get that in a team sense.”
Dew said the club’s biggest challenge moving forward was building depth in the list for 2020 and beyond.
“I think we weren’t able to cover some of our injuries at different times so we want to try and grow our depth both from new players coming in but also improvement with the players we’ve got here,” he said.
“I think that’s what every team is striving for is to grow greater depth so that when challenges come you can cover them.”
While the 2018/19 pre-season was all about building strength, fitness and adding a competitive edge to the team, Dew said the focus will now be on adding the next layer to the game plan when the players return from break.
“I think we’re always looking to add decision-making and skill execution which at times this year let us down,” he said.
“Against the best teams when they’ve put the pressure on that was I think some of the disappointing parts of our game-plan so we’ll put a lot of work into that no doubt.
“We were able to run games out well this year on the back of a good pre-season so just a high emphasis on skill development and execution (will be the focus).”
Having recently turned 40, Dew is one of the youngest senior coaches in the league but says he feels both himself and his coaching group have come a long way this season.
“It’s probably for others to answer that for me but I think I have developed and learnt a lot,” he said.
“I’m really trying to build capability within the footy club and I’d like to think I’ve given guys good autonomy in their roles and helped them grow as well.
“I certainly don’t want to be someone who doesn’t develop people underneath them and I think guys have had greater opportunity to take greater responsibility.
“It’s a little bit like a footy team, we don’t have one dominant person, we want to make sure that we build capability with the whole coaching group.
“That’s one of the best things about our group, we’re quite experienced, we’ve got a lot of guys that have been around some footy clubs both here and interstate so now it’s just about gelling together.”
While the football department head on leave over the off-season, Dew won’t be letting his spare time go to waste.
The Gold Coast Senior Coach is planning on heading overseas for a pair of professional development opportunities to enhance his coaching credentials ahead of the 2020 season.
“I’m going to go have a look at an Academy over in Europe which will be interesting,” he said.
“I’ll go over with a couple of coaches and spend some time there because we’re putting a greater emphasis on our Academy and making sure that pathway is correct and as smooth as we can make it.
“We think that will help the long-term growth of the footy club.
“Later in December I’ll be going over to the States to do a leadership course which I think is exciting.
“I’ve spoken to a few people that have done it and I think that will be of benefit.”