VICTORIAN Football League powerhouse Port Melbourne has re-signed premiership coach Gary Ayres for a further two years, with an option on a third year beyond 2014.
The contract extension would make Ayres the stand-alone VFL club’s longest-serving coach, after he took over as head coach in 2008.
The five-time Hawthorn day and night premiership player and dual Norm Smith medallist said he was pleased to have the chance to guide the club to further success.
“I’m very happy for two reasons: one, that the club was interested enough in me to give me another two years, with the option for a third, and two, because I’m keen to try to keep that window of opportunity [for another premiership] open,” he said.
Last year, Ayres delivered the club’s first premiership since its three-peat in 1980-82, leading the Borough through a remarkable undefeated season.
In the four years since Ayres took over the reigns, the club has finished runner-up in 2008, then third, sixth and first and is yet to miss the finals.
With the club sitting atop the ladder this year, Ayres, 51, said he was confident of maintaining success in coming years.
“We want to continue the success we’ve had. [The reappointment] gives us the chance to do some forward planning. Obviously we are focused on the season at hand but we can also look at recontracting players and recruiting.
‘‘It gives us an opportunity to kick-start work on the 2013 season and gives us stability going forward.”
Ayres said the optional third year was a “mutual consent decision” and would be based on whether both he and the club were still happy with the arrangement at the end of the 2014 season.
Port Melbourne president Peter Bromley said the agreement would ensure the club was in the best possible position to maintain success.
“The two year extension means Gary will continue to lead and develop this exciting playing group,’’ Bromley said.
“At the Borough, Gary and his coaching staff call the shots. There are no AFL-listed players dropping back, no one from another club giving different instructions. If you put in the effort and consistently perform, you will keep your spot.”
Bromley added that the club was looking to sign a major sponsor for the remainder of this year and beyond.
Any interested parties can call the club’s general manager, Barry Kidd, on 9646 2094.