BALLAN has heavily invested its faith in coach Darron Batties.
The Blues have moved swiftly to extend Batties’ contract for a further two years, which will see him through until the end of the 2014 Central Highlands Football League season.
Batties’ deal comes after just eight games with the Blues – a period which has produced two wins.
Ballan president Matt Green said the club had always earmarked Batties as a long-term coach, and said he had already produced improvements within the senior side through his game style, competitiveness and professionalism.
“It has been a good three or four years since we’ve got that (coaching) stability and that’s one of the things we are excited about. Darron knows a revolving door of coaches isn’t the answer for any football club,” Green said.
“Our aim this year was wholly and solely to double our wins from last year. Next season it is to improve again, and the third year is when we want to be a finals football team and not just make up numbers.
“We know we’re still two years away from being a competitive football side week in, week out.”
Batties, who was integral in bringing Hawthorn premiership player Mark Williams to the club, said an added two years, rather than just one, would help him establish a game plan that would take the Blues forward.
“Being competitive is the first step and the next step is climbing up the ladder, and that’s what year two will be about,” he said.
Batties said he would look to top up a few areas in 2013.
“We’re building from within, (but) we will get a few more recruits on board and they will be very good footballers,” Batties,
a former Werribee Tigers assistant,
“The culture in the place is a very
competitive culture, where as in the past just getting beaten was natural.
“Now it’s about being competitive every week and we think the scores are starting to reflect that as well.
“We’re on the lookout for two quality midfielders and probably two big-bodied key position players.
“With what else we got this year, that should send us in the right direction, and probably pretty quick.
“Wanting and getting are two different things, though.”
Ballan will look to stretch its winning streak to three games when it travels to take on 2011 grand
finalists Daylesford tomorrow.