BACK in 2000 Dean Solomon broke a barrier for the Rural Bank Bendigo Pioneers when he finally became the first draftee from the club to play in an AFL premiership.
Now Solomon will achieve another first for the TAC Cup club – this time in the coaches box.
On Saturday Solomon will coach the Gold Coast Suns in their “Q Clash” against the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba.
In doing so Solomon, originally from Broken Hill, will become the first of the Pioneers’ graduates to coach an AFL game.
Solomon – a 2000 premiership player with Essendon – was this week appointed caretaker coach of the Gold Coast Suns following the sacking of Rodney Eade.
Now 37, Solomon taking the reins of the Gold Coast Suns comes 20 years after he was one of seven players drafted via the Pioneers in 1997 when he was taken by Essendon with pick 20.
A member of the Pioneers’ Best Team of 21 Years between 1992 and 2013, Solomon played 209 AFL games for Essendon (158) and Fremantle (51). He has been an assistant coach at the Suns since their AFL inception.