Wangaratta president Ellyn O'Brien has praised coach Ben Reid's development after the club re-signed him for next year.
It's almost two years to the day since the 2010 Collingwood premiership player signed the original two-year deal and the club announced its extension on social media on Thursday night.
"Ben's definitely an asset to us, he has a great program in place for developing the young kids of the club, which was his goal when he started and he's blooded a lot of kids over the past two seasons," O'Brien praised.
The Pies fielded one of their youngest teams since re-emerging as a powerhouse in 2017 in posting the season's biggest win (127 points) against Wodonga Raiders last Saturday.
Debutant Joe Berry kicked four goals, while fellow youngsters Josh Tweedale, Ryan Battin and Braeden Marjanovic have followed the coach's lead in re-signing for another year.
Experienced defender Cam Barrett, who joined the club from Corowa-Rutherglen, has committed until the end of 2025.
"Since I've moved back, I've thoroughly enjoyed my time at 'Wang', it was a no-brainer in the end, it's a great club and really good people involved in it," Reid enthused.
"It's a great group of players that want to learn and play the best footy they can and I'm rapt that the club wanted me to go again and I'm looking to repay the faith."
But Reid was quick to praise the work of his predecessor Dean Stone and others.
"Well and truly before I got here, you only have to look at how many one-pointers the club has, very rarely do we have the maximum (player) points (40) and that's purely on the work people have done around the club," he added.
Reid also had to face a situation no coach has ever experienced in the O and M's 130 years after the Pies were stripped of last year's premiership for breaking the salary cap.
With three rounds left, Wangaratta is well placed to reach another grand final as it sits in third spot.
An injury-hit Wangaratta is away to Lavington today, with Reid (hamstring) one of a number of players out due to injury.