Chris Rourke - 200 games as Coach of Ainslie
Congratulations to Chris Rourke the Ainslie Club Coach on bringing up his 200th game as coach.
Chris is in his eleventh season as coach of Ainslie which is a Club record. Round 7 2017 against Queanbeyan brings up his 200th First Grade game as coach of Ainslie.
He came to the club for the 2007 season with an extensive coaching career behind him in country Victoria and in AFL Sydney. Chris grew up in Melbourne and loved his footy from a young age. He played U19s and reserves with Fitzroy in the VFL before playing with Camberwell and Oakleigh in the VFA where he won Premierships with both clubs.
Chris’s first coaching experience came when he was appointed Captain/Coach of Echuca Football Club. When he took over Echuca were bottom of the League. Chris won the Coach of the Year award in 1991 in recognition of his work in getting the team into a competitive position.
Chris had also coached at Moama in Country Victoria and at Tooronga-Malvern in the Melbourne Metropolitan League. In about 1997 Chris moved to Sydney and worked with the Sydney Swans and was the match day runner. Chris continued to play helping out North Shore. Chris was appointed Coach of North Shore in the Sydney League in the late 90s and coached North Shore to 4 consecutive Grand Finals, winning the Premiership in 2001. Chris moved back to Rochester in Country Victoria and was assistant coach at Rochester, U18s coach and still played a bit at age 45.
Chris was announced as Ainslie coach in November 2006 but came to Ainslie when they were down having lost a lot of players from the 2006 season. After an initial struggle in 2007 he built the team up to reach the finals in 2008, the Grand Final in 2009 and win the AFL Canberra Premiership in 2010. The 2010 Premiership broke a 13 year drought for the club.
With the introduction of the NEAFL competition Chris continued with the success and won the 2011 NEAFL Eastern Conference Premiership. Chris was named the 2011 AFL NSW/ACT Coach of the Year.
Ainslie competed in final series from 2012 to 2014 and missed for the first time in 2015. With the withdrawal of Ainslie from the NEAFL Chris won his third Premiership in 2016 in the AFL Canberra competition. Chris was named Coach of the AFL Canberra 2016 Team of the Year.
In the 10 years from 2007 to 2016 Ainslie only missed the finals in 2 seasons and won 3 Premierships.
Chris has always been a very passionate about his footy. He is an emotional person who stays very positive and always delivers a positive and inspiring message to his players. He has had good relationships with all his assistant coaches and is always prepared to listen and learn. Player retention has always been high and reflects on the respect players show him.