Dean Solomon has today advised the Fremantle playing group and coaching staff that he would be leaving the club to take on a role as an assistant coach with the Gold Coast.

A veteran of 209 AFL games, the 30-year-old announced his injury-forced retirement in February.

A member of Essendon’s 2000 premiership team, Solomon played 51 games for Fremantle in three seasons at the club and 158 games for the Bombers.

Since announcing his retirement earlier this year, Solomon had worked as a development coach with Fremantle’s Elite Performance Program, which focuses on the club’s first to third year players.

Solomon said that he had relished his time as a player at Fremantle and was grateful for the insight into coaching that he had gained in season 2010 as a member of Mark Harvey’s coaching team.

“I really appreciate not only the opportunity Fremantle gave me as a player but, after being forced into retirement by injury, the club was also good enough to give me a coaching role,” he said.

“I can’t thank them enough for that.

“I think Fremantle is on the right path, so that’s made it a very hard decision to leave. But the move to Gold Coast is an exciting new challenge for me.”

Solomon also paid tribute to the club’s supporters.

“They really warmed to me and I was always made to feel very welcome,” he said.

Harvey said Solomon’s fierce approach to the game would be a key element of his coaching career.

“It’s a credit to the culture and environment that we have at Fremantle that other clubs would look at our people to take up positions with them,” he said.

“You also have to take into account the way Dean played the game and how that has contributed to him getting such an opportunity now.”

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