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Melbourne coach Merrick signs for two more years

Melbourne Victory has signed Coach Ernie Merrick for another two years, with the two-time Premiership and Championship-winning mentor committing to the club until at least the end of the Hyundai A-League 2011/12 season.

Merrick and the club finalised the new deal that will see the Scotsman take charge of Melbourne Victory for its first seven seasons.

One of just two men still at the helm since the opening season of the competition, the other being fellow Scot Lawrie McKinna, Merrick was delighted to put pen to paper.

"This club has been terrific, we've had success, we want more success," Merrick said after the announcement.

"We want to build a bigger, stronger, better team.

"We've got seven players 21 and under but we've got to perform better at home.

"It is a great honour to stay at what has been the most successful club and the board have been fantastic in support."

Melbourne Victory Chairman Geoff Lord was just as pleased to lock Merrick away as the club looks to build on its impressive success rate in the first four seasons of the Hyundai A-League, citing the example of Manchester United and its long-time manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

"Tonight we're very honoured to extend Ernie's contract for another two years," Lord said.

"Taking tonight totally out of the equation, Ernie's been coach now for four-and-a-half years and we think he's done an outstanding job for the club.

"His record is the best of any coach in the A-League and we're very pleased to go forward again with Ernie.

"He has more than deserved his opportunity and our attitude is to keep looking at it and we hope he'll be around as long as Alex Ferguson, providing of course he keeps winning.

"We're very keen to be the most successful club both on and off the field."

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