Laidley contract with Kangaroos extended - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Laidley contract with Kangaroos extended

By Roger Vaughan 03/03/2005 07:11:27 PM Comments (0)

The Kangaroos are one game away from the AFL pre-season grand final, but coach Dean Laidley admits the real top four remains a longer-term goal.

The Kangaroos announced a two-year contract extension for Laidley, taking him to the end of the 2007 season.

While the 'Roos finished 10th under Laidley in the first two seasons as coach, the new deal was an acknowledgment of their competitiveness in that time and his thorough playing list overhaul.

Speaking on the eve of the Wizard Cup semi-final in Perth against West Coast, Laidley said much development remained before his side could be regarded as a strong top-four fancy in the regular season.

"At the end of last year, I did a fairly in-depth research of the last six premierships sides - their age, their games experience, that sort of stuff," he said.

"If we keep developing the way it is, it still might be another two or three years.

"We will have the (Brent) Harveys and (Shannon) Grants around 30-odd, still valuable (contributors), but we'll (also) have (Daniel) Motlop, (Daniel) Harris, (Daniel) Wells, (Drew) Petrie, (Brady) Rawlings all in their mid-20s.

"That's when they'll play their very-best football and then we'll have some other younger guys like Jess Smith from this year and David Trotter, David Hale, really starting to make an impact."

The announcement came a day after Fremantle also gave coach Chris Connolly an extra two years.

Laidley said the "hardest" part of his opening two years in charge at Arden St had been developing a large group of young players while losing several veterans, including Anthony Stevens and David King at the end of last season.

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