SUNBURY coach Rick Horwood has signed on for another year at the helm of the Lions.
Despite looming as a genuine possibility to miss the Ballarat Football League finals for the first time in its 18-year history in the league, Sunbury moved quickly to secure Horwood’s services for 2015.
The signing means that the 2012 premiership and three-time grand final coach will coach his fifth year at Clarke Oval.
Incoming president Jack Ogilvie, who will take over from Phil Lithgow at the end of the season, said it was a simple decision for the board to reappoint Horwood for at least one more year.
“We think that Rick’s done a fantastic job, he’s taken us to three grand finals and a premiership in past years,” Ogilvie said.
“The impressive part about Rick’s coaching is about what you don’t see on the field on the day. It’s about the work he puts in and the relationships he has with the players; the culture around the club is a lot to do with him.”
In terms of ladder position, Sunbury has faced its toughest year in its BFL history, needing a string of matches to fall in its favour this week if it is to make finals.
The Lions need to beat Lake Wendouree at Clarke Oval on Saturday, while also hoping Bacchus Marsh and East Point both lose their matches.
It is possible Sunbury could sneak in via percentage with a tight loss, but only if the other two sides are soundly beaten.
The delicate position contrasts greatly with their all-conquering history that has spawned five premierships, but Ogilvie insisted Horwood was the man to bring the Lions back to the top.
“Being a realist, we’re probably a couple of years away from another grand final,” Ogilvie said.
“But we’re building towards it and we’ve got plans set in place.”