Eade latest to exit Dogs without flag - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eade latest to exit Dogs without flag

By Guy Hand 17/08/2011 02:48:26 PM Comments (0)

Rodney Eade will exit the Western Bulldogs with the unflattering statistic of coaching the most games without an AFL premiership - and as another Bulldogs boss unable to achieve the ultimate success.

But he will also be a man in demand, with Melbourne and Adelaide both on the lookout for new coaches and the Demons, in particular, expected to favour an experienced hand.

This weekend Eade will equal John Northey, who coached Sydney, Melbourne, Richmond and Brisbane for 315 matches without winning a premiership.

Curiously, in the top six coaches for matches coached without a flag, four are ex-Bulldogs bosses.

Eade has taken the Dogs closer than most to breaking a drought going back to their one and only flag in 1954, making three successive preliminary finals.

But it may well be his lack of finals success that he is ultimately paying for with the Dogs' decision on Wednesday not to extend his contract past the end of this season.

While Eade has a solid 54 per cent winning record as a coach since he started with Sydney in 1996, he has managed just seven wins in 19 finals.

A four-time premiership winner as a player with Hawthorn, Eade guided the Swans to a remarkable grand final appearance in his first season in charge.

He has taken sides he has coached to nine finals appearances in 13 years - the Bulldogs to the finals in four of his seven seasons.

But that has not translated into flag success.

Now the Bulldogs, who have been formidable under Eade until struggling this season, have finally lost patience.

When you haven't made a grand final in 50 years, and your only flag win was before the advent of rock and roll and when FJ Holdens were Australia's car of choice, it is perhaps understandable.

It is the second time Eade has found himself at the end of the road at an AFL club.

As the Swans hit the skids in mid-2002, Eade jumped before he was pushed, and he spent two years in the media before he re-entered the AFL coaching ranks.

During his time away from the game, Eade reinvented himself.

Considered difficult to approach by some towards the end of his tenure at Sydney, he arrived at the Bulldogs to replace Peter Rohde ahead of the 2005 season.

The turnaround was swift, with the Dogs going from 14th under Rohde to ninth and sixth in Eade's first two campaigns.

Even as his side struggled in both his third season in charge and during what has turned out to be his last, Eade maintained a personable public face.

Usually friendly, often playful and always generous with his time in his media appearances, Eade presented as one of the most stress-free, media-savvy coaches around.

Unlike most sacked coaches, Eade could not have picked a better time to be back on the market.

Usually for a 53-year-old who hasn't won a flag in more than a decade of trying, the future would be grim to ever return as a head coach.

AFL coaching jobs are the rarest of commodities, and recycled ones have not been the fashion of late when opportunities have become available.

But with Adelaide and Melbourne both looking for new men in the top job - the Demons perhaps likely to benefit most from an experienced coach - Eade could well become an even rarer commodity.

That is a coach who goes to a third club still seeking his first premiership.

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