BRETT Ratten has been handed a two-year contract extension as St Kilda coach, with president Andrew Bassat flagging him as the best person to lead the club forward.
Ratten first assumed the head coaching role on a caretaker basis midway through the 2019 campaign, replacing Alan Richardson.
The 50-year-old was then awarded the job on a full-time basis ahead of the 2020 campaign.
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The new deal takes him through until the end of 2024.
“As the leader of our men’s program, Brett has secured significant buy-in from his fellow coaches, staff and players alike,” Bassat said in a letter to members on Friday morning.
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“In addition to his strong football IQ, our players appreciate his ability to develop strong relationships, which he uses as a foundation to challenge each individual to get better and to deliver their role for the team.
“This balance, and the ability to unite his coaches, players and staff in a relentless quest for excellence makes Brett the best person to lead us towards our much longed-for second premiership.”
The ninth-placed Saints currently sit just outside the top eight on percentage only, ahead of a potentially season-defining clash with Fremantle on Saturday evening.
Ratten also coached Carlton – the club he served with such distinction as a player – in 120 games from 2007-12.
“We have seen Brett adapt and grow since assuming the position of senior coach ahead of the 2020 season,” Bassat said.
“His re-entry into the senior coaching chair has not been easy, tackling two years of COVID interruptions, hub life and the unavailability of players and staff through injury and illness.
“However, his focus on the continual improvement of not only our players, but his fellow staff and himself has been ever-present.”