Hardwick to have two-year AFL extension

Richmond are on the verge of extending coach Damien Hardwick’s contract to the end of the 2018 AFL season.

Hardwick’s current deal is due to expire at the end of this season and pressure is mounting after three-straight elimination final losses.

But the Tigers are confident that Hardwick should stay coach and the deal could be announced before their blockbuster Easter Thursday season opener against Carlton.

There was already strong speculation that Richmond would stick with Hardwick.

The only conjecture was over whether the extension would be for one or two seasons, but media reports on Monday said the Tigers would grant him the longer term.

Hardwick has coached Richmond since 2010 and led the team out of the wilderness.

After their 11 seasons outside the top eight, he is the first coach since Tom Hafey to have taken the Tigers into three-straight finals series.

But Richmond are yet to win a final under Hardwick and this is a pivotal season for the club.

He would join Hawthorn’s Alastair Clarkson, Fremantle’s Ross Lyon and Leon Cameron of GWS, who have secured contract extensions in the last few weeks.

Clarkson, who has coached Hawthorn to four premierships, signed a new three-year deal to the end of 2019 that means he can oversee the team’s rebuild.

The Dockers have gone even further with Lyon, with his three-year extension securing him until 2020.

Lyon said at last week’s announcement that there would be no excuses if coach and club did not win their first premiership in that time.

Cameron also signed a two-year extension last month that takes him to the end of 2018.

Collingwood are apparently on the verge of agreeing to a one-year contract extension for Nathan Buckley.

And Brisbane are also about to hand Justin Leppitsch another season.

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
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