Stuart Dew has revealed how his close relationship with Rhyce Shaw helped facilitate a move for the former North Melbourne coach to Gold Coast during the pre-season.
Dew told AFL.com.au his original concern following Shaw's mutual departure from the Kangaroos was for the welfare of his long-term friend after a turbulent season in charge.
The pair struck up a bond in Sydney, where Dew was an assistant coach for seven years, firstly with Shaw as a player and then alongside him beneath John Longmire.
"When 'Shawry' finished with North, I'd been in contact with him a lot, purely from a support and friendship point of view," Dew said.
"It was important from my point of view that number one he was OK and tracking well, and over time that was certainly the case.
"Late December was around when I could sense he had the itch for coaching and that was never going to go.
"A lot of his talk is around young players, development and how they come into the system and get to where they want to go."
Shaw began his role as head of development once the Suns returned to pre-season training in the new year, moving wife Leah and young children Freddie and Louis to Queensland.
He is one of six coaches in the revamped Suns' set-up.
Dew said once the club's off-field structure was changed, there was always room for an addition, although he thought it might come in a high performance or medical role, rather than coaching.
"I've always admired the way he's able to connect with players and the effort and thought he puts in when a player first comes into a footy club," Dew said.
"He's got an energy for coaching that's really contagious.
"For me, having someone in our coaching team that has coached their own team at AFL level is such a positive.
"He lived through the hardest year in the hardest of circumstances … he can only help me in terms of anything I'm going to encounter.
"I'm really grateful I've got someone there like Rhyce.
"He's got a great way of communicating things, he can be really blunt at the right times, but also really supportive.
"That balance he's got is just as important for the players as it is for the other coaches.
"He should feel really excited by what we've got here.
"As a footy club we're lucky to have him. He should never have been lost to footy and we were only too happy to step in and help him in that regard."