Gold Coast are stepping up their bid to sign Damien Hardwick as their next AFL coach, with chief executive Mark Evans flying to Europe.

According to several media reports on Wednesday, Evans is to meet with the three-time Richmond premiership coach in Italy during Hardwick’s holiday.

There is also speculation if Hardwick is open to coaching the Suns they will table a five-year deal.

Evans’ trip comes after last month’s sacking of Stuart Dew, who had coached the Suns since 2018.

Hardwick dramatically quit Richmond in May, saying he felt he had run out of ways to lift his players.

Gold Coast have not made the finals since they joined the league in 2011.

The Suns refused to comment on Evans, while the Gold Coast chief executive was also contacted.


In June, Hardwick said he was already missing the game.

He led the Tigers to their drought-breaking flag in 2017 and then made it a dynasty with premierships in 2019-20.

Hardwick also won a premiership at Essendon and another at Port Adelaide as a hard-nosed defender.

He and Evans have history with the pair working together in Hawthorn’s football department during the 2000s.

Hardwick was a Hawthorn assistant coach from 2005-08 before taking over as Richmond coach, while Evans was their football manager at the time.

© AAP 2023

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