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Melbourne Football Club

Rooke joins Melbourne coaching panel

MELBOURNE has appointed two-time Geelong premiership player Max Rooke to the role of development coach.

Rooke, who was also a development coach with the Gold Coast Suns in 2016, played 135 matches for Geelong, including its 2007 and 2009 premierships, from 2002-10.

General manager of football operations Josh Mahoney said the club was rapt to gain the services of Rooke.

“Since retiring from the AFL, Max has been working as a development coach, firstly for Geelong for a few years and then Gold Coast last year,” he told

“Through family reasons, Max became available and we’re delighted that he’s decided to join Melbourne.

“Max is passionate about developing young players and driving standards on and off the field, which aligns very well with our overall philosophy on players.

“This completes our full-time coaching appointments for 2017 and we’re very happy with the group of coaches we’ve been able to put together.

“This group has a good balance of experience and recently retired players and we look forward to them working with our players moving forward.”

A versatile player, with a fearless approach to the game, Rooke retired in 2010 after a knee injury ended his career prematurely.

Originally a rookie with the Cats, Rooke joined Geelong from Casterton and became a highly-respected player.

He overcame several injuries throughout his career – he even went to Germany for surgery on a debilitating hamstring – and was crucial in Geelong’s premiership campaigns in the late 2000s.

In Geelong’s 2009 Grand Final win over St Kilda, Rooke kicked two goals.

At the end of the 2011 season, Rooke was appointed to Geelong’s coaching panel and spent 2012-15 in a development role with the Cats.

In late October 2015, Rooke joined Gold Coast and spent the 2016 season with the Suns.

Rooke will reunite with the likes of Brendan McCartney, Matthew Egan and Shannon Byrnes, who were all part of Geelong’s successful era and are now members of Melbourne’s football department.