Russell Barnes – Club contributor of the highest order

Russell Barnes – a Club contributor of the highest order

Russell Barnes announced his retirement from all forms of football coaching at the conclusion of the 2022 Season, which rounded out an extraordinary career at Ormond.

After nearly 40 years in Amateur football, Russell Barnes has drawn the curtain on a unique playing and coaching career with the VAFA.

It has been an extraordinary and unique career that has included multiple premierships as a player and a coach, Big V representative football, and a host of other off-field roles with the six clubs he has been involved with.

Barney is an Ormond (and VAFA) legend. He played 255 games for Ormond, including four Premier A premierships – three as Captain (1985, 1987, 1988) – was selected as a Big V player on 11 occasions, and was inducted as a Big V ‘Champion’ in the VAFA Hall of Fame in 2017.  He also coached Ormond Seniors for two seasons (2008, 2009), including the Premier C premiership in 2008, and for the past three seasons has been the Ormond Reserves coach (2020-2022).  In all, he coached Ormond in 73 matches, for a combined playing and coaching club total of 328 games.

Other clubs Barney has coached include Old Brighton, Hampton Rovers (1998 Premier C premiership), St Bedes/ Mentone (2002 Premier C Grand Final), Beaumaris and Aquinas, and his legacy at all of these clubs is his mentoring of coaching assistants, his passion for amateur football, and enduring friendships made.

What a distinguished career, a memorable career, a successful career – he stops on the total of 692 matches, as a VAFA player (255 games) and coach (437 games).  We are fortunate that Barney calls Ormond ‘home’, as in his own words, “If I bleed, I bleed brown and blue”. 

On behalf of all Ormond past & present players and supporters, I congratulate you Barney and thank you!  And I also take this opportunity to acknowledge the unconditional support Barney has received from his family during his career: wife, Jude, and children Michael, John and Jane (deceased).

We shout it out loud, and in unison …… THREE CHEERS, RUSSELL BARNES!!