NORTH Warrnambool Eagles have extended coach Bernard Moloney's tenure until the end of next season as they ramp up preparations for 2015.
Eagles president Pat Doran made the announcement that Moloney, who was appointed to a one-year contract this season, would be in charge of continuing the club's push for Hampden league success next year.
Doran said the club had opted to lock-in Moloney early so there were no distractions for the Eagles impending finals campaign.
"It's really important from the club point of view we can focus now on the goals and targets we set for 2014," he said.
"And we can also look at what we need to do for 2015 and beyond and include in there the development of our junior structure and players that are coming through.
"The North Warrnambool Eagles Football Netball Club is very, very pleased with what Bernie's brought to the club, obviously it is a change in style, it's a change from having a playing coach to a non-playing coach but certainly he's fulfilled what've asked for year to date and we expect more going forward.
"We think it's the best thing for this club going forward and we can take the next steps and achieve the targets and goals this club is focussing on."
Moloney, 60, said he was delighted he would be with the Eagles next year.
"I'm very excited," he said.
"I've been rapt with the support North Warrnambool has given me so far.
"They have set up a really good coaching group all the way through their junior ranks and I'm lucky enough to get the benefit of that so looking to next year there are some really good under 18 kids coming up."
Moloney said the early appointment was one less issue he had to deal with as the Eagles prepare for a big month leading into the finals.
"The main focus now I have the appointment is to keep the group we have got together and when you look at successful sides that's their first priority to keep the group together and then build where you need to.
"Our focus now is third spot and that is our whole focus. We have to think where we are and how far we are away from the top two teams and work really hard to concentrate on that third spot."
Moloney has reinveted himself as a modern head-coach. Playing assistant coach Brendan Murfett takes training each Thursday night and each member of the match committee has specific game-day roles to provide feedback to players.
Tim Sheldon, an assistant to former coach David Haynes, who yesterday had a knee reconstruction, also has a mentoring role each Saturday. He selects four players in both reserves and seniors who he watches and then provides feedback to.
Moloney said his job was far from finished, regardless of results this year.
"I just want these players to believe they are capable to mix it with the best," he said.
"Right from the start it's been a self-belief thing and empowering the group to make decisions out on the ground and chart where they want to be. As a modern coach you have to empower a group, you can't stand up and demand things if the group is not behind you."
He applauded the club for making an early decision.
"It's a credit to the club and good to be involved in a club that looks so far ahead. You build from within and then you can spend pre-season topping up with who you need.
"We have a really good back six that is settled, we have to find ways of kicking more goals consistently. That is a focus this week and the rest of the year. Our skill level and self belief in being up there isn't there, we have to get better."
The Eagles are the second club in a week to announce their coach for next year. Koroit has already locked away Adam Dowie for next year while South Warrnambool is chasing a coach after Matthew Monk revealed he would not continue at season's end.