PERENNIAL finalist Koroit has locked in coach Adam Dowie until the end of 2015 in a reciprocal show of faith that both parties are on the right rebuilding track.
Saints president Maurice Molan yesterday confirmed the club’s committee had unanimously backed a new one-year deal for Dowie at a meeting on Tuesday night.
“We’ve been extremely pleased with his performance over the two years, especially this year with the players we lost and the development he has been able to put into the new players,” Molan said.
It means Dowie, who joined Koroit last season, will remain a Saint for at least a third year, with the veteran coach preferring his appointment to be assessed on a “year-to-year” basis.
Irrespective of whether the second-placed Saints win this year’s Hampden league flag, the quadruple premiership coach said he had more to do.
When he took on the job at the end of 2012, Dowie was charged with preparing the club for sustained success after the expected retirements of playing stalwarts who had been pivotal in the club’s 14 consecutive finals appearances.
“One of the things I’ve said to the guys is ‘we’ve got another year out of Joe and Chris McLaren and Nathan Meade has come back’,” Dowie said.
“But I feel like it’s unfinished business. My job was to come and try and bring the next group through, be a new voice, bring fresh ideas.
“But I reckon we are only halfway through. Two years from now I don’t think Chris will be playing, Joe won’t be playing and Nathan Meade won’t be playing, then we would have turned full circle.
“Willem Drew, Jayden Brennan, James Gow, Jayden Whitehead, Jesse White, Levi Nagorcka, Sam Dobson and Jeremy Hausler, they are all young.
“We have a lot of young guys and then ones at the other end of the scale. In the next two years we will well and truly be a new-look side.
“You are never going to be able to replace guys like Chris and Joe and Ben Goodall but the guys coming in, the future is pretty bright.”
Dowie is impressed with the club’s outlook.
“It’s a real honour to coach the Koroit football club, especially the way they operate,” he said. “The players are there for the right reasons, you can’t speak highly enough of them. They are really loyal and we have some great young players coming through.”
He said the club’s initiative to last month develop its KFNC 2020 blueprint for sustained future development had inspired him.
“For me it was a really positive meeting,” Dowie said.
“Sometimes as a coach you look week-to-week and month-to-month but you see there is a 10-year plan and people are committed to working towards that and I know for me it was really pretty important.”
Dowie, a senior teacher at Warrnambool College and a father of four young boys, said his life was busy but he loved the challenges at Koroit.
“Everyone wants to win premierships. If we sat down and started to break down why I coach and why guys play footy, there are lots of other reasons people often take for granted.
“Winning premierships is not the be-all and end-all. I hope our players aren’t only motivated by it, I’m not.
“How do you classify success? Do you classify it by how many junior players you bring through? Do you measure it by consistency?
“I think the easy way is to measure how many wins and premierships you have. But it’s country footy, there needs to be more reasons: the social aspects, playing a team sport, it has to be enjoyable. If you can tick all of those things and you are winning then you have a pretty good reason (to be involved).”
Dowie said the friendly atmosphere suited his family.
He said Koroit already had an eye on next year — something that didn’t happen last year when the Saints sailed along as minor premier before stumbling in the grand final, only to lose more than a dozen players in the off-season.
“At the end of last year we were a bit flat and it happens obviously in not winning the grand final but we were playing catch-up. We have to make sure that doesn’t happen again this year. When we get to the end of the year we need to have spoken to all our players and there is a commitment whether they are playing or not.”
Dowie’s contract extension with the Saints comes just days after South Warrnambool revealed it was already in the market for a new coach following Matthew Monk’s decision to step aside at the end of the season because of growing business, family and radio commitments.