THE wait is finally over for Craig Deans .
Deans has been appointed head coach of the Newcastle Jets for the remainder of this season and the 2021-22 A-League campaign.
His position was confirmed by the new board - headed by executive chairman Shane Mattiske - at a meeting on Tuesday night.
The 46-year-old former defender has held the reins in an interim capacity - his third period as a caretaker coach - since the sudden departure of Carl Robinson in October to Western Sydney.
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Daniel McBreen (assistant) and Chris Bowling (goalkeeping coach) are expected to continue.
Deans was seemingly out of the picture for the permanent gig after the the Jets opened the campaign with four losses.
However, a recent spike in results, the way Deans has operated during a unsettled period - and the positive way the Jets team have played - prompted a rethink.
Along the way he has given opportunities and created an environment for a host of rising stars to thrive.
Ironically, a 1-a all draw with Robinson's Western Sydney - a match in which the Jets deserved to win - proved the turning point in swaying opinion.
Deans received public support from celebrated Socceroo and high profile football TV analyst Robbie Slater who declared "surely the job is his".
The playing group, headed by captain Nigel Boogaard and veteran defender Jason Hoffman, have also voiced their approval of the progress under Deans.
Former Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe, current Glory assistant Hayden Foxe and 2008 Jets championship winning coach Gary Van Egomd were understood to have been on a shortlist of candidates.
A foundation player at the club, whose career was cut short by injury, Deans has been with the Jets for almost 15 years. He has been at the helm of women's side, winning the W-League coach of the year in 2016, has been youth team coach, assistant coach and most recently directed the club's academy.
His first game as the official head coach will be against Brisbane in Redcliffe on Sunday.