RICK Horwood will coach Sunbury in the Ballarat Football League for another two years.
This will extend his tenure with the Lions to five seasons.
Horwood resisted "a lot of offers" before accepting a new two-year deal.
He also had to weigh up family issues and likelihood of losing several top end stars from the team which lost this year's grand final to North Ballarat City.
Horwood has led Sunbury to three grand finals in his three seasons at the helm, winning the 2012 premiership.
Horwood believes he is facing a challenge similar to when he joined Sunbury in 2011, when he inherited a senior list missing about 10 keys players from the previous year when Mark Power was in charge.
"It's very much like when I first came here.
"It's an exciting new challenge."
Horwood already concedes that ruckman Pat Cariss has been lost to Riddell.
The futures of Simon Clarke, Jay Cheep, Jamie Lobb and Ross Sleight are also unknown.
Horwood said it was not getting easier to keep players given Sunbury's proximity to Essendon District Football League clubs with substantially bigger player payment budgets.
He equated the Lions' budget to "middle of the road" by EDFL standards.
"We're up against it."
Sunbury has trimmed its income available for players owing to capital works projects it has planned, including the redevelopment of changerooms and the grandstand.