News Rhyce Shaw news in The Age tonight.

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Twinkletoes

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'My passion for football remains': Shaw to join Suns as head of development

By Peter Ryan
January 3, 2021 — 11.59pm

Rhyce Shaw will play a crucial role in developing the AFL's most exciting young list this year, with the 39-year-old former Kangaroos coach to become the Gold Coast Suns' head of development in 2021.

The Suns snapped up the two-time assistant coach of the year after he finished at North Melbourne for health reasons in October, having taken a post-season break for personal reasons, following a tumultuous 2020 that saw the Kangaroos overhaul their playing list and coaching panel.

Sources say Shaw is now in good health and is looking forward to relocating to Queensland to continue his coaching career, working with the talented Suns list.

Gold Coast are also bullish about his appointment, having spent the end of last year exploring ways to get Shaw on board.

He will once again work alongside senior coach Stuart Dew. The pair worked together at the Sydney Swans where Dew was an assistant, before joining the Gold Coast, and Shaw played before he began his coaching career as a development coach at the Swans. They have great respect for each other, with Suns sources expressing confidence the highly regarded Shaw will flourish in their environment and be an excellent resource for their players.

Shaw will be involved in developing young players such as Matt Rowell, Noah Anderson, Izak Rankine, Ben King, Jack Lukosius, Elijah Hollands, Will Powell, Charlie Ballard, Alex Davies and Joel Jeffrey, to help the club make the finals for the first time.

He has a great reputation in development, indicating that was where he wanted to head when he parted ways with the Kangaroos.

"Despite the challenges of the past year, my passion for football remains," Shaw said.


"The experiences I've had throughout my career developing young footballers to reach their potential has given me the greatest satisfaction and pride, and I hope to have the opportunity to contribute to this great game again in the future."

He will join a number of former senior coaches now working in assistant or development roles at other clubs including Brenton Sanderson (Collingwood), Brendon Bolton (Hawthorn), Matthew Knights (Geelong), Mark Williams (Melbourne), Michael Voss (Port Adelaide) and Don Pyke (Sydney Swans). Justin Leppitsch was a crucial assistant at Richmond before stepping aside at the end of 2020.

Shaw remains a respected figure in AFL, having played 237 games in 15 seasons at Collingwood and Sydney including three grand finals.

He won a premiership at the Swans as a player in 2012 and is part of the famous Shaw family, with his father Ray, uncles Tony and Neville and brother Heath all playing AFL.

He coached the Kangaroos to 10 wins in 29 games and began a massive rebuild last year after winning just three games when they were in a hub during the coronavirus pandemic and had injuries to key players.

His departure from North Melbourne prompted a discussion about stress on senior coaches, with four-time premiership coach Alastair Clarkson expressing concern about the demands and scrutiny facing those in the job and potential health impacts.

The Suns made changes to their football program amid the cut in the soft cap, directing resources towards development, with respected assistant Dean Solomon parting ways at the end of 2020. They also re-signed Dew until the end of 2022.


Great news. Good to see Rhyce well enough to take this on, and it shows how highly he’s held by his peers in the development sphere.

Good news all round IMO.
 

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Luke72

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Surprised by this. Thought he may have had 2021 off and then come back to the game at the end of the year. 3 and half months off and it looks like to have served him well so good luck to him but probably best it wasn’t at North.
You’re probably right but I would have liked him to come back although it was probably unrealistic especially in that short a time with a new coach.
 

Mt Isa Mustang

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Assume moving to Queensland and out of the spotlight would be a big part of going there, and taking a job quickly out of concern he might not get a job after next year. None us really know though.

Sad he isn't coming back but glad he's clearly doing better. Hope he does well up there.
Yes, think the Gold Coast with the outdoor lifestyle and anonymity might be a good thing.
 

Passmore

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Rhyce coming back wouldn't have been the right fit. Very happy to hear he has a new position in footy but Noble needs space to make the club his own and an ex-coach hanging around isn't conducive to that.
It would have been pretty awkward and distracting. It's best if all parties move on.

I must say though, I am a bit surprised that he's back in the game so quickly.
 

leighlee13

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Today's article in the Herald Sun

AFL 2021: Rhyce Shaw joins Gold Coast Suns as head of development

Former North coach Rhyce Shaw will make a surprise return to the coaching ranks of the AFL for 2021, after stepping down as the Roos head coach.
Sam Landsberger

Former North Melbourne coach Rhyce Shaw will return to football in 2021, only months after his shock departure from the Kangaroos.

Shaw, 39, took leave for personal reasons after the club’s exhaustive three months spent in Gold Coast hubs before a mutual decision to sever ties with the Roos only one season into his three-year contract.

But Shaw will return to Gold Coast this year as the Suns’ head of development, reuniting with senior coach Stuart Dew after spending eight years together at Sydney.

Dew was an assistant coach for the final year of Shaw’s career in 2010 and they then formed a close friendship working under coach John Longmire together for the next seven seasons.

Sources have confirmed the Shaw appointment, which has also raised eyebrows given the coaching purge that happened last year at the club that has cost the AFL $250 million.

The Suns sacked senior assistant Dean Solomon along with development coaches Ashley Prescott, Nick Malceski, Andrew Swallow and Justin Koschitzke in 2020.

Multiple football department staff including much-loved operations manager Scott Pyle were also shown the door.

Solomon had another three years remaining on his contract. Malceski had two years to run on his contract

“Due to the economic impact of COVID-19, every AFL football department is currently considering plans to support its playing group with a significant reduction in the football soft cap,” Suns football boss Jon Haines said at the time.

Some of those former assistants were of the belief the Suns would not be appointing a new development coach in 2021.

But regardless of the Suns’ finances, the Shaw signature will be celebrated for welcoming a popular figure back into the fold.

“Despite the challenges of the past year, my passion for football remains,” Shaw said when he left Arden St on October 22.

“The experiences I’ve had throughout my career developing young footballers to reach their potential has given me the greatest satisfaction and pride, and I hope to have the opportunity to contribute to this great game again in the future.

“For now, however, my focus is on taking time out, and I would ask that my privacy, and that of my family, continue to be respected at this time.”

Shaw’s passion for developing talent will be put to good use as he works with top-10 draft picks Elijah Hollands (No.7), Matt Rowell (No.1), Noah Anderson (No.2), Izak Rankine (No.3), Ben King (No.6) and Jack Bowes (No.10).

Brother Heath Shaw told the Herald Sun in November that “Rhyce didn’t get the support he needed” at the Roos.

“It wasn’t handled as well as we would have liked, but in the end, we got the result we wanted,” Heath said.


Shaw appeared drained in his post-match press conferences late in the season and was asked about his body language after the Round 18 loss to West Coast.

“I was dejected (in those interviews) because we’d lost a footy game and we haven’t had a great run,” Shaw said.

“I’m sorry if it came across too dejected, but I wear my heart on my sleeve and I’ll be me as much as I can.”

The next morning Shaw and football boss Brady Rawlings sacked 11 players in their exit meetings, which players have claimed lasted only a few minutes as minimal feedback was given.

Hawthorn’s four-time premiership coach Alastair Clarkson signalled a loud mental health warning for the coaching fraternity after the toll on Shaw was laid bare.

“I look at the list I made up earlier – Hirdy (James Hird), Bomber (Mark Thompson), Bails (Dean Bailey), Walshy (Phil Walsh), Laids (Dean Laidley), Spud Frawley, Pykey (Don Pyke), now Rhyce Shaw and there is probably others too who have done it tough,” Clarkson said.

“In our industry and our country because it’s a small fish bowl not a large fish bowl, any coach who does it particularly tough, he has to carry that in his public life more so than what a coach would have to do in a much bigger market like America or Europe.

“That carries an enormous strain for many in our industry and I’ve got concerns given the high quality of all of those lads I’ve mentioned because some have lost their lives and not directly as a result of coaching but some of it had been stress-related.

“It’s sad what happens to such decorated people in our game.

“I’m concerned and I think the game should be concerned because it’s an enormous burden to carry and we need to be doing something as individual clubs and individual coaches too.

"I think we’ve always looked after everyone else in the club and put everyone else in the club before ourselves and maybe it’s time to take stock ourselves to sort out what our work flow is and our schedule because it’s now getting to a point where we are seeing real casualties out of our industry and I don’t think it’s a good thing.”

Shaw coached 29 AFL games (10-19) taking over from Brad Scott as caretaker coach during the 2019 campaign.
 

Marstermind

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Great to hear Rhyce is alright. I genuinely wish him well at the Suns.

However, I'm hugely surprised that a bloke who was in as bad a space and he was rumoured to be is back in the game so quickly. It was initially said he needed "time away from the game" - that may be some kind of euphemism, but couldn't he have had "time away" for the 3.5 months it's been and come back to North now? What would he have missed that David Noble didn't?
 

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Snake_Baker

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Great to hear Rhyce is alright. I genuinely wish him well at the Suns.

However, I'm hugely surprised that a bloke who was in as bad a space and he was rumoured to be is back in the game so quickly. It was initially said he needed "time away from the game" - that may be some kind of euphemism, but couldn't he have had "time away" for the 3.5 months it's been and come back to North now? What would he have missed that David Noble didn't?
It's not North, it's Victoria and the football culture, industry & public spotlight.

Rhyce & those around him would be wise to stay diplomatic.
 

justroyal

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I thought Heath's whack was pretty harsh, but I guess amarfio did address that there wasn't enough support....then again he did also say we had the most staff out of all the teams up there?
So I'm a little confused about where we failed Rhyce
 

1975

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I thought Heath's whack was pretty harsh, but I guess amarfio did address that there wasn't enough support....then again he did also say we had the most staff out of all the teams up there?
So I'm a little confused about where we failed Rhyce
Ben was talking in retrospect, I don’t think there would have been a different outcome at any other team regarding Rhyce illustrated by the fact that we had one of the biggest support groups in the hubs.
 

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