The Gold Coast Suns are reportedly prepared to offer former Richmond premiership coach Damien Hardwick a monster five-year deal to coach the club.
According to The Age, Suns CEO Mark Evans is flying to Europe to meet with Hardwick, who is currently on holiday.
A senior club member confirmed to The Age that the Suns had contacted Hardwick to canvass his interest in the role, which is vacant after the sacking of Stuart Dew earlier this year.
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Eddie McGuire told 9News Melbourne that it’s no surprise Hardwick has been linked to the Suns, with a multitude of their star players under the same management.
“It’s interesting … some of the biggest names on the list at the Gold Coast Suns; (Noah) Anderson, (Ben) King, (Rory) Atkins, (Ben) Ainsworth and a few others are all part of the Paul Connors Sports stable … all happen to be in the same stable as that man, Damien Hardwick,” he said.
“There’s been a long connection between the Gold Coast Suns and the major players at Paul Connors Sports.
“It means there’s certainly communications between players who they want to keep at the Gold Coast and the number one available coach.”
McGuire praised Hardwick for stepping away from his role at Richmond “at the right time”, believing he is now ready to re-enter the coaching industry.
“He said he hasn’t lost his passion for the game. He probably left the Tigers at the right time,” he said.
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“This bloke Damien Hardwick is absolutely the number one available coach to be got.”
Gold Coast’s bid to land Hardwick comes after he made the shock decision to walk away from Richmond in mid-May, saying he “couldn’t give 100 per cent” to the job.
“He’s now in Italy at the moment … he’s loosened his mind a bit and he’s ready to go, I think that will be the deal to close,” McGuire said.
“They had to wait a little bit of time to let the all the dust settle at the Gold Coast and now they’re going to get stuck into it.”
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