- from afl.com.au
IN THE wake of a crushing 115-point loss to Port Adelaide, Gold Coast caretaker coach Dean Solomon is yet to decide whether he wants the job in 2018 and beyond.
The former Bomber and Docker also says he has "absolutely no feel" for whether Gary Ablett will be at the club next season.
Solomon said he had "loved" the challenge of leading the struggling club over the past three weeks but had not had the chance to weigh up whether it was a role he wanted full time.
"It's a hard one to answer because I have not had time to think about that right now,'' Solomon said after the Power held the Suns to the lowest score in the club's seven-year history.
"I've had a taste of it. I've loved every minute of it.
"I loved working with the whole football department and all the players ... over the the next week or two I'll get some fresh air and have a think and reflect and I'll weigh it up from there."
Solomon complimented Gary Ablett on his attitude in the past few weeks but said he had no feel for whether the midfielder would be at Gold Coast in 2018.
He reiterated the Suns' message that they expected Ablett to see out his contract.
Ablett requested a trade back to Geelong the end of last season and speculation has been rife about a romantic return to the Cattery for next year.
"He's contracted to us for next year. He's been good over the last couple of weeks. He's given me everything he could ..." Solomon said of Ablett.
"I've got absolutely no feel about what Gaz's decision's going to be and what he wants to do but our expectation is that he'll be with us next year."
Ablett was named to play against Port on Thursday but was ruled out later that night after failing a fitness test with a hamstring injury.
"One hundred per cent, he failed a fitness test,'' Solomon said.
"He did everything he possibly could. He trained. It was a pretty rigorous fitness test and he didn't get through. That's the honest truth."
The Suns were held to 3.2 against Port, failing to score in the second and third quarters as they finished another poor season in 17th with a 6-16 record.
Solomon said Port had shown the club where it needed to get to and the loss needed to burn in the players' minds during the off-season.
But he maintained Suns had the nucleus of a good team and believed his side could turn things around if the work ethic of the club improved.
"It's hard for you guys to understand this but I am still really bullish about our future," he said.
"I honestly believe there is a core of players there that will take us to where we need to go but we've got to work hard."