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By Nick Creely

Cranbourne have locked away senior coach Steve O’Brien, with the Eagles’ main man signing a contract extension to the end of the 2020 season.

After a review of the football coaching appointments for 2019, a unanimous vote of confidence was given towards the re-appointment of O’Brien, with the club announcing last night to its members that he will stay on for a further two years in a sign they are looking for stability into the future.

O’Brien has brought through plenty of youth in his first season in charge, but has his side well and truly in the premiership frame to challenge after finishing in third spot on the SEFNL ladder.

Football director Manny Vella is thrilled with the signing of O’Brien, and said it was important for the future of the club as they embark on a new challenge in 2019.

“The club is now well positioned to continue its growth on and off the field and we look forward to the likely move to the MPNFL in 2019,” he said in a statement.

Vella said that O’Brien has exceeded all expectations in his first year, stripping things back and backing in his style, something that has made them one of the most eye-catching sides to watch.

“We’re extremely happy (with O’Brien’s progress) – on field, we’re probably 12 months ahead of where we thought we’d be,” he said.

“Our average age has actually gone significantly down, so we’re extremely pleased.”

Vella also provided an updated on the Eagles’ bid to join the MPNFL in 2019, with the club recently putting through an official application to join the competition with AFL South East.

There will be a vote by the MPNFL clubs on 29 August to determine whether the Eagles will either to be granted entry into the competition or not, with 75 per cent of the clubs in that competition needing to vote for them to join, but Vella said they are confident of the right outcome.

“The feedback we’re getting is that it’s very positive from clubs in the MPNFL – we’ll have a vote later this month, and we’ll see what happens,” he said.

“(But) all discussions have been pretty positive – we’re still very committed to going to MPNFL in 2019, that’s our future.”

The Eagles taken on Beaconsfield in the final home and away round of the season tomorrow, as both sides prepare for finals.

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