There was plenty to worry about for Gold Coast coach Rodney Eade after the injury-hit Suns’ 75-point AFL loss on Saturday to Adelaide.
But he won’t have to fret over his future with Suns chairman Tony Cochrane guaranteeing Eade will hold the Gold Coast reins next year.
Cochrane wasn’t so kind to Guy McKenna, however, insinuating the Suns were still battling because they had employed a “junior coach” as their foundation mentor.
Eade’s plight appeared bleak as the Suns’ horror injury tally became more dire in their 22.17 (149) to 11.8 (74) loss to the Crows at Metricon Stadium.
It marked their sixth straight loss.
And their star-studded injury list only lengthened with the loss of Darcy Macpherson (knee) and Callum Ah Chee (concussion).
Cochrane has guaranteed Eade’s position until at least the end of the 2017 season.
“You have it in writing. I’ll put it in my blood if you like,” Cochrane told SEN radio.
“Rocket’s got a three-year deal here, and I am not a change merchant for the sake of change.”
On McKenna, who was sacked at the end of 2014, Cochrane said : “I think they made some chronic errors (from the outset).
“With great respect to our inaugural coach, there’s no way we should have had a junior coach.
“I think one of the outstanding things they did in (Greater Western Sydney) was put Kevin Sheedy up there and Mark Williams for the first couple of years.”
Eade was in need of some good news.
Gold Coast already had so many injuries that just five AFL-listed players were available on Saturday for reserves duty.
Yet the Suns’ stocks will be truly tested next week with Macpherson and Ah Chee going down.
“That’s three in four weeks now (losing two players to injury in a game),” Eade said.
At least relief is in sight.
Defender Steven May is back from a lengthy suspension while Eade is hopeful Rory Thompson (ankle) and captain Gary Ablett (concussion) will return next week against West Coast.
“At best, we’ll get five (players back) – at worst, we’ll get three,” Eade said.
“And then the week after, maybe another three or four.”