Craig joins AFL's Suns as consultant
Former Adelaide coach Neil Craig has joined Gold Coast's support staff for the 2020 AFL season in a move set to provide welcome guidance for Suns mentor Stuart Dew.
Craig has signed on as a part-time consultant, returning to the AFL after a stint as the England rugby union team's high performance director at the recent World Cup under Eddie Jones.
The Suns are hopeful Craig's support of Dew, in his third year at the helm, will help revitalise the club after collecting the 2019 wooden spoon.
After starting the year 3-1, the Suns lost 18 straight.
In nine seasons, they haven't finished higher than 12th.
CEO Mark Evans said in August they would consider an experienced figure to help "speed up" Dew's coaching development.
They appear finally to have gotten their man in Craig, who has spent 22 seasons in various roles at AFL clubs Adelaide, Melbourne, Essendon and Carlton.
"Neil will have a very specific scope of responsibility and work closely with Stuey and the coaching group on how they collaborate, reflect and teach," Suns football general manager Jon Haines said.
Craig will remain involved with the England rugby union team but believes he has much to offer the Suns, particularly after his recent World Cup stint where Jones' team finished runners-up.
"I enjoy working with coaches in high performance environments and the little bits I've had to do with the coaching group at the Gold Coast and Stuart individually have been really refreshing," Craig said in a statement.
"My role will be to observe, to listen and pose questions and offer my observations to Stuey and the coaching group, based on my experiences.
"I've most recently worked with the English national rugby team alongside Australian coach Eddie Jones and that has been another great experience for me for my own professional development."