Neil Bourke paid tribute to the support throughout his decorated coaching career following his latest all-star team selection.
The former Warrnambool coach was named at the helm of the Sunshine Coast AFL team Team of the Half Century (1970-2019) on Friday. It comes four days after he was also named Team of the Half Century coach at his former club Maroochydore last week. Bourke won three premierships with the Roos from 1994-96.
He said he was shocked to learn he'd been selected in the Sunshine Coast team considering the other strong coaches in the mix.
"When my name got read out, it was a huge surprise and a huge honour," he said.
Bourke said he enjoyed the festivities and catching up with his former players and opposition players at the ceremony, including Port Fairy's Damien Hann.
"Damien was nominated for the team, and I coached Damien when he was a 14-year-old in the Port Fairy under 19 grand final," Bourke said. "It was the first time I'd run into him in 30 years.
"I caught up with him and he was telling me about the night I called around asking his mum and dad could he play as a 14-year-old and mum said no. But by the time I left she'd said yes. We were laughing about that."
Bourke credited the support from family and support staff throughout his coaching journey.
"You can't go that long without them helping you along the way," he said.
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