Russell Barnes and Nick Bourke: Big V Champions

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The VAFA will host its 11th Annual Big V Club Lunch on Friday 18th August at Melbourne’s RACV Club and celebrate the fantastic careers of all former players and officials of the Big V. Highlighting the event, however, will be the induction of two Big V Champions, Russell Barnes (Ormond) and Nick Bourke (Marcellin, Old Xaverians); each of whom represented the Big V proudly over a number of years.

Ormond star, Russell Barnes (right), played 255 games for his beloved club. During Russell’s era, his Ormond side were considered one of the best in VAFA’s history. As such, Russell was a four-time premiership player, three of which he captained – 1985 (capt), 1987 (capt), 1988 (capt) and 1990 (unfortunately, Russell missed Ormond’s 1989 GF with injury). Barnes was also named in the Ormond 50 year team. He represented the Big V on 11 occasions between 1981 and 1989 – Vice-captaining the side in 1987.

Between 1982 and 1985, Nick Bourke (left) represented the VAFA on seven occasions. In his first representative Under 19 game in 1982, Nick was selected for the Equal BOG Award. In 1998, Nick began his esteemed Big V coaching career, acting as Assistant Coach on two occasions. After his success in ‘98, Nick then took over the helm as Senior Big V Coach from 1999 until 2005, during that time, Nick achieved two record wins, a 62-point win over VCFL and a 172-point win over WAAFL. Such was his success, Nick was selected as All Australian AAFC Coach for 2002-2004.