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Hot Ayres rises as Suns candidate

Former Adelaide Crows coach Gary Ayres has emerged as a candidate for the Gold Coast Suns' coaching role.
Former Adelaide Crows coach Gary Ayres has emerged as a candidate for the Gold Coast Suns' coaching role. TOM MILETIC

AFL: Gary Ayres has thrown his hat in the Gold Coast Suns' coaching ring, saying he'd relish the opportunity to again coach an AFL club.

Ayres, a five-time premiership player with Hawthorn, coached Geelong from 1995-1999 and Adelaide from 2000-2004, before being appointed to coach VFL team Port Melbourne in 2008.

The dual Norm Smith Medal winner has never hid his desire to return to AFL ranks, despite enjoying great success at the Borough.

In 2011, Port Melbourne had the perfect season, winning every match including the premiership as a stand-alone VFL club.

Six seasons later, the Borough are once again in the running for the flag, with a grand final against Richmond on the cards this Sunday.

Ayres told SEN on Friday that he'd "love the challenge” of either coaching the Gold Coast Suns or mentoring a younger coach to fill the vacancy left by Rodney Eade.

"You never think you're too old,” Ayres said.

"We coach against AFL alignments every week and we think we hold our own.

"It would certainly be a challenge, there's no doubt about that.”

Former Western Bulldogs coach Brendan McCartney has also emerged as a candidate for the Suns role.

McCartney led the Dogs from 2012-2014 after spending 11 seasons at Geelong.

For the past three years he has headed Melbourne's development program and been lauded for his work with the young Demons.

Highly-regarded assistants John Barker (Carlton), Stuart Dew (Sydney), Adam Kingsley (St Kilda) and Jade Rawlings (Melbourne) are also believed to be in the mix.

Topics:  adelaide crows afl aussie rules football gary ayres geelong cats gold coast suns hawthorne