A Neighbourhood conversation has led to former AFL star Kurt Tippett agreeing to help Stuart Dew with Gold Coast's ruckmen and key forwards in 2021.

Tippett was on deck as the SUNS held their first post-Christmas training session on the Gold Coast on Monday, with the former Sydney and Adelaide tall working with the club on a part-time basis.

"We've got some young developing key forwards and obviously I knew Kurt from my time in Sydney, and a couple of our coaches are from Adelaide," Dew said.

"He lives around the corner and I ran in to him and asked if he's got a bit of spare time.

"Lucky for us he has and he's going to be involved in a small way but we think he's a great mentor for our young keys."

It's the latest change to Dew's backroom team after Dean Solomon, Nick Malceski, Ash Prescott, Justin Koschitzke and Andrew Swallow exited at the end of last season.

Former North Melbourne coach Rhyce Shaw will come in as the Suns' head of development, starting next week, and it's another appointment that Dew has welcomed.

"When a person of that calibre becomes available, we were able to shuffle a few things around and make sure that we could get him on board," Dew said.

"He's a great resource for our young players and it'll be good for me too ... he's got too much to offer to not be in the game."

Almost the entire SUNS' list was on hand for Monday's training session with young gun Matt Rowell still on rehab duties as he recovers from last year's season-ending shoulder injury.

Dew said making sure the footy-mad 19-year-old doesn't rush his recovery is a challenge.

"He's literally done a pre-season in the off-season so we just need to hold him back a little bit," Dew said.

"He's due to start his contact work and we'll just ramp that up along with his running to be really consistent.

"He's in good nick, and we're looking forward to getting him out there.

"We'll just work back from round one to make sure he's cherry ripe."