The Fremantle Football Club has extended senior coach Mark Harvey’s contract through to the end of 2012.

Fremantle chief executive officer Steve Rosich said today that the contract extension was a positive reflection of Harvey’s continued development as a senior coach, which has seen him coach 64 AFL games to date.

Harvey’s initial three-year contract as Fremantle’s senior coach commenced in 2008 and followed his appointment as an assistant coach at the club in 2006, including seven games as a caretaker coach in late 2007 after the resignation of his predecessor Chris Connolly.

A full-time assistant coach at Essendon for the previous eight years, Harvey had and an outstanding playing career with the Bombers that included 206 games and three AFL premierships.

“In the pre-season, the club, Mark and his management (ESP’s Dan Richardson) agreed to a timetable and a process to explore a contract extension beyond Mark’s initial contract to the end of 2010,” Rosich said.

“We have followed that timetable and process which yesterday resulted in the club and Mark agreeing to terms.

“The contract extension not only recognises the great work done by Mark and the playing group but the football department of the club as a whole, including the assistant coaching team, our development staff, the strength and conditioning staff and our medical team.

“With 22 first and second year players on our list we have a young and relatively inexperienced playing group and we believe that Mark, his coaching team and the development staff are doing everything possible to secure our goal of sustained success.”

Fremantle president Steve Harris said Harvey’s re-appointment had the unanimous support of the board.

“Mark and his coaching team have worked extremely hard to get us to where we are at now as a football club which, in addition to striving to achieve sustained success, is seeking the respect of the wider football community,” Harris said.

“We have great faith in Mark’s ability to deliver on both counts.”

Harvey welcomed the club’s show of faith in re-appointing him until the end of 2012.

“These are both challenging and exciting times to be at the Fremantle Football Club,” he said.

“Our relatively young and inexperienced playing group has shown that it is capable of playing the type of high intensity, competitive football that Fremantle supporters deserve and expect.

“Whilst I am grateful for the opportunity to keep working with and developing our determined and talented playing group, there is still a lot of hard work ahead of us to achieve sustained success.”

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