KOROIT president Maurice Molan says newly-crowned Hampden league premiership coach Chris McLaren is deserving of the title.
Molan praised the six-time Saints premiership player during his post-game address, emphasising the indelible mark he has made on the Victoria Park club.
McLaren took over the coaching gig from esteemed mentor Adam Dowie – a revered figure in league history who coached the Saints to three straight flags.
He carried on Dowie’s good work, adding a fourth consecutive flag to the Saints’ collection on Saturday.
His older brother Joe, who retired after the 21-point victory over Port Fairy, said he was proud.
“I am happy to retire right now with a heap of premierships and the last game of footy I played Chris coached,” he said.
“His coaching has really come of age and he’s a real leader on and off the field and the respect he has around the footy club is just outstanding. I couldn’t be more proud of him.”
Six-time premiership player and four-time premiership captain Isaac Templeton praised McLaren for his dedication.
“Chris has just stepped it up from Adam really,” he said.
“He’s learned a lot off Adam and he’s just as good a coach, he’s brilliant.
“He just brings a lot professionalism and we all love him, so we all get behind him.”
AFL Victoria Medal winner Damian O’Connor, who played in his first flag for the Saints, worked alongside McLaren as an assistant.
“He’s been around the club for a long time and he’s a really good speaker, really good communicator and all the boys know exactly what they need to do,” he said.