FORMER North Melbourne coach Rhyce Shaw will return to AFL coaching ranks in 2021, joining Gold Coast as head of development.
Shaw left the Kangaroos by mutual agreement in October to deal with personal issues after a turbulent season for the club.
He had two seasons left to run on a three-year contract.
The 39-year-old remains a respected figure in the football industry and will now reunite with Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew.
The pair formed a strong bond in eight years together at Sydney, where Shaw finished his playing career and moved into a coaching position while Dew was an assistant under John Longmire.
Shaw will play a key role for Gold Coast in moulding one of the competition’s most exciting young lists, featuring high-end draft picks Matt Rowell, Noah Anderson, Ben King, Jack Lukosius and Izak Rankine, among others.
“I am really excited to join the Suns and to play a role in developing the group, both from an on-field and off-field perspective,” Shaw said in a club statement.
“It’s a great opportunity for me and my family to experience a new city and a new role at a club that is clearly heading in the right direction and I am looking forward to the challenge.
“I’ve got a great relationship with Stuey (Dew) and I am excited about joining him and the rest of the coaching panel next year and seeing what we can all achieve as a club.”
Shaw played 237 games for Collingwood and Sydney, including the Swans’ 2012 premiership, and had a 10-19 record in charge of North Melbourne.
He is one of several former senior coaches now locked into assistant or development roles for 2021.
Mark Williams was handed a development position with Melbourne last month, joining Michael Voss (Port Adelaide), Brenton Sanderson (Collingwood), Brendon Bolton (Hawthorn), Don Pyke (Sydney Swans) and Matthew Knights (Geelong).
Shaw’s appointment at the Suns comes after the club made huge cuts to its coaching staff as part of severe cost-cutting measures at the end of 2020.
Senior assistant Dean Solomon was let go, along with development coaches Ashley Prescott, Nick Malceski, Andrew Swallow and Justin Koschitzke.
Dew was re-signed to the end of 2022 when he inked a two-year extension in July.
Suns football operations manager Jon Haines welcomed Shaw’s appointment.
“Rhyce is an experienced, well-respected coach who is widely regarded across the AFL industry as a wonderful developer of young men and young players,” Haines said.
“We are committed to continually enhancing our development model and Rhyce has all the attributes, skills and personality to lead a program that will help to get the very best out of our playing group.”
(C) AAP 2020