Weller trade worth the price: Dew
STUART Dew knows his club paid full price to land Lachie Weller but the new Gold Coast coach is confident that investment can pay off and the midfielder can help the Suns fight their way back up the AFL ladder.
Weller joined Gold Coast during the AFL trade period after requesting a trade from Fremantle, with the Suns eventually getting the deal done on the final day after agreeing to hand over the second overall selection in the national draft.
Dew, appointed to the Suns coaching role last month, says the 21-year-old's desire to join Gold Coast, along with his obvious ability, meant the deal was right.
"The number one piece was, he wanted to be here," Dew said.
"He's a senior AFL player. Yes, he's only young but he's played 44 of the last possible 44 games, and we see him as someone who can really turn into a leader around the club.
"If he was in that (2017) draft - Freo put that price on his head for a reason, they had a four-year deal in front of him - he would have been (selected) top five."
While some may have raised their eyebrows when the Suns agreed to hand over pick two in the draft, Dew said he was comfortable his club hadn't jeopardised its future in the hunt for young talent.
"We've given up pick two, but we were able to get into a future first (round) with West Coast last year," he told SEN.
"So if you look at our next two drafts in isolation, with two first-round draft picks, we take a Lachie Weller and we go in with two first-round draft picks next year.
"It was a tough call but an easy call in the end when someone's desperate to get there, and I think he'll be a seriously good player for the next 10 years."
Dew faces a tough assignment in leading the young Suns, 17th in 2017, back to finals contention.
Describing himself as a coach who will be "hard but fair", the former Sydney Swans assistant says much of the responsibility will fall to him. And he might look to the 2017 premier for inspiration.
"Obviously Richmond, you've seen what they've been able to do as a team was unbelievable last year," he said.
"My main job is getting that cohesion across the whole team, a 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.
"They're so keen to do well but it's how you get them to jel together, so I think my relationship with those players will determine how well we can jel together.
"That's obviously the battle going from an assistant to a senior coach ... but that'll be a priority."