- from afl.com.au
NEW GOLD Coast coach Stuart Dew believes success in developing strong bonds with his players will be crucial in turning the embattled club's fortunes around.
Dew arrives with significant and varied experience from a long stint as a Sydney assistant coach under Paul Roos then John Longmire.
Longmire said in October that Dew's ability to adapt to the different player relationship a senior coach has from assistants would be one of his greatest challenges.
Longmire backed Dew to make that transition, and the dual premiership player plans to be "a relationship-based coach".
"I like the teaching side of the game, but I think I'll be hard but fair," Dew told SEN on Wednesday.
"You've seen Richmond. What they were able to do as a team was unbelievable last year, so my main job is getting that cohesion across the whole team – (that) team-first attitude, which shouldn't be hard to teach.
"But … it's ongoing. It's daily, it's weekly, because they're highly driven individuals and they're so keen to do well, but it's how you get them to jell together.
"So, I think my relationship with those players will determine how well we can jell together and that's the battle going from an assistant to a senior coach with your time, but that will be a priority."
Gold Coast's first-to-fourth-year players, plus a handful of others, such as leadership group member Touk Miller, returned to training this week.
Dew is already adamant the Suns have the right mix of personalities to drive the high standards he intends to implement.
"Everyone's got to adhere to them, but ultimately the best teams are where the players really hold each other accountable – and the coaches are more facilitative in that area," he said.
"So, my encouragement and challenging will (help) the leaders to get that culture going in the club.
"There's a diverse group (at Gold Coast) … and every leadership group I've seen that's been effective has that.
"You don't want everyone around saying 'yes' to everything; there needs to be some challenging, and that's what we're going to drive."
Dew said his experience under Longmire at the Swans would serve him well at the Suns, where his role will take on a bigger-picture view.
But the 38-year-old doesn't expect Gold Coast to suddenly transform into a finals contender next year.
"If you look at Adelaide's season purely on a numbers sense, they're losing a game every four weeks, so you've got to be able to cop a loss and bounce back," Dew said.
"It's the challenge around not making it turn into two, three and four (defeats in a row). We've got to deal with that, but we've also got to learn to win and create a winning habit.
"It's not linear, it's not going to go upwards straight away, but as long as it's on that upward curve and we get it going in the right direction (I will be satisfied)."