Cook knocks back Gold Coast - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cook knocks back Gold Coast

18/07/2008 07:37:58 PM Comments (0)

Geelong chief executive Brian Cook has rejected an offer to head up the new Gold Coast AFL franchise, meaning the club has now failed to snare its prime targets both on and off the field.

Eight days after the new Queensland club's favoured coaching choice, former Brisbane great Michael Voss, rejected a three-year offer, Cook announced he was signing on for three more years with the Cats.

Like Voss, Cook said he was initially very keen on becoming part of the expansion club, before having a change of heart.

But while the length of contract offered was the sticking point for Voss, Cook said the desire to stay close to his family was what finally persuaded him to stay in Geelong.

"Probably six weeks ago I had a foot on the plane to the Gold Coast, to be honest," Cook said.

"But over that period of time I've lost a little bit of enthusiasm for a lot of reasons, mainly personal ones, and professional ones in respect to the future of the footy club.

"I have a family here, I've got three children and a new grandchild and I've got a father who needs a bit of help, that probably was a major issue for me.

"And on top of that I think there are some intense challenges at Geelong Football Club, to maintain our strength and to improve that, to become a great club."

Cook, who made first contact with AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou to confirm media speculation he was the favoured candidate, said the prospect of building a club from scratch initially held great appeal.

"The vision of having a fantastic challenge on the Gold Coast and having a fantastic offer made you jump on that and you become excited about that," he said.

"Over time it mellows when you realise you actually have to move a long way away from your family, the ones that you love the most, that in the end was the crucial issue for me."

Cook said Voss' decision not to take up the coaching role did not affect his own choice.

But the two knockbacks are clearly a setback for the new club.

Cook said it was expected that the appointments of the coach and chief executive would be the key planks leading to other positions being filled.

"I think they've got fallback plans for both and I don't think it's the end of the world for them at all," he said.

"There's plenty of other good options and good people around for them ... I think it's going to work for them in the end."

AFL chief operating officer Gillon McLachlan said the league and the Gold Coast bid team, GC 17, would now advertise publicly to fill the position turned down by Cook.

"We respect Brian's decision and thank him for his interest in considering the challenge of taking on the Gold Coast role," McLachlan said.

"We have certainly had plenty of interest from many people in both the football industry and in business and we will now go through that process to find a CEO."

Cats president Frank Costa was delighted to retain Cook, who has been in the role since 1999 and oversaw an extensive review of the club which helped lift them from a disappointing 10th in 2007 to premiers last year.

"I have often said that Brian is the greatest recruit that we have ever had," Costa said.

"Our board is thrilled that Brian will lead us on the next part of our quest to become a great club."

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