By Nicholas Galea
The Coburg Football Club is pleased to announce that it has re-signed tackling machine and leadership group member Luke Bunker for the 2022 VFL Season.
Bunker who has been with the Club since 2017, played all 10 games in 2021 and put together a fantastic campaign where he finished just outside the top 10 for average disposals (26.5) and ranked second in the league for total tackles with 81 (8.1 per game).
Upon committing to Coburg, Bunker said it was a “pretty easy decision” to stay with the club for another season.
‘Well, for me personally, Coburg has just become my home and that’s where all my mates are,’ Bunker said. ‘I’ve just come to love the footy club and if I was going to be playing in the VFL, it will always be at Coburg, the only decision was “do I want to keep going on at this level?” and the answer was “yes”.’
Despite only being 23 years old, Bunker is one of Coburg’s more senior players after playing 48 games since his debut against Casey in 2017.
Such has been his impact and influence over the past five years, he has been a part of the Club’s Leadership Group since 2019, and was named as Deputy-Vice Captain of Coburg for the 2021 VFL Season.
‘It’s really, really important [to me], I guess it’s been the last few years where I have felt a greater responsibility to affect the culture (at the Club) in a good way and that I am setting the right example,’ Bunker said. ‘It’s on us as leaders to build an environment that new people come to love and they don’t want to leave.’
‘That way we’re able to keep all of our recruits and keep the core group together moving forward, because that’s going to play a big part in us succeeding in the future.’
‘As a leader and as member of the leadership group, it’s important that we’re able to create an environment that players love coming to each night and love being around.’
Set to play his 50th game early on next season, the talented midfielder was pleased with the progress that the team had made on the field this year but felt that the improvements off the field in terms of belief was arguably just as important.
‘The biggest thing that I enjoyed (this year) was we as a footy team were coming into every game expecting to win,’ Bunker said. ‘The results showed that we we’re in basically all of our games and that probably hasn’t happened in the last few years.’
‘To be three and seven when it could have easily been six and four or seven and three, that just gives us a lot of a belief going forward.’
‘We were in nearly every game and had the chance to win every game and that’s a big step in the right direction for our footy club… When you’re winning, it’s a lot more enjoyable.’
2021 showed that results aren’t always reflective that progress is being made but Bunker is confident in the team’s ability to take bigger steps forward in 2022 and that they will reflect the effort that was shown this year in several games.
‘I think we have the talent and the ability to play finals next year… There’s a lot of hard work to be done from now until next season but the talents there, it’s just going to be on the players to bring a selfless attitude and want to work for each other,’ he said. ‘That’s going to complement our talent and hopefully they’ll be the ingredients to take us into the club’s first finals series in a long time.’
‘I have been playing footy for five years with and we’ve been through a lot of downs together as a group so if we’re able to come out the other side, work together and experience the ups and the highs together then it makes it that much sweeter.’
Coburg fans can get excited as they can expect more news on further player re-signings for season 2022 across our Men’s and Women’s teams to be announced in the coming weeks by following the Coburg Football Club’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.