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Former Docker Dean Solomon reveals future AFL plans after honest conversation with Adam Simpson

Former Gold Coast Suns assistant coach Dean Solomon has revealed his plan to return to AFL coaching took a unique turn at the hands of advice from West Coast coach Adam Simpson.

After nine years with the Suns, Solomon was controversially let go as part of COVID-19 enforced cost cutting measures.

The former Docker has taken 12 months out of AFL despite being sounded out by eight clubs after he was a victim of the decreased coaching salary cap.

His gap year comes after some crucial advice from the 2018 premiership winning coach.

“It sits inside me, I still have aspirations to be a senior coach,” Solomon said.

“I’ve been in the AFL bubble for 23 years and I just wanted to take 12 months out.

“Adam Simpson posed some really good questions to me (during my coaching level four course).

“He said ‘mate have you ever hired anyone? Have you ever managed 10-60 people? Have you ever sacked anyone?’

“I said ‘no’. I followed him up with questions and he wished he had done something like running his own business prior to going in to senior coaching.

Suns interim Coach Dean Solomon talks to players during the round 21 AFL match.
Camera IconSuns interim Coach Dean Solomon talks to players during the round 21 AFL match. Credit: Chris Hyde/Getty Images/AFL Media

“As it turned out this year with what’s happened in AFL footy, I came up with this idea of launching my own business.

“I thought I’d use this 12 months to develop myself in a different way.”

The 40-year-old has launched a wellness centre in Kingscliff, where he’s currently managing ‘7-8 staff members’.

“I want to be managing people, dealing with different types of issues and I kind of see it as a small footy club I’m managing,” Solomon said of his new gym.

“After finishing with the Suns, I put my phone down for eight weeks. I know my manager had about eight clubs in total that enquired and wanted to touch base. I just wasn’t at that stage, I was still working out what I wanted to do next.

“I’ve decided to take this journey for 12 months and develop myself.”

Solomon insists he won’t be lost to the game in season 2022, eyeing off a media role in 2021 before making a play at a head coaching position the following year.

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