Lions Profile: Dave Bourke

Posted on May 1, 2013

Dave is the quiet gentleman of the Lions secondary- does his job with distinction, is an integral part of the team, and is in possession of the most talked about spin move in the history of the Lions. SUAFC sat down with “DB Dave” and got some great answers:

How long have you been playing for?

10 seasons

What position?


What is your sporting background?

Before I played gridiron for the Lions, played a bit of everything during high school – cricket, tennis, basketball, rugby union, rugby league, soccer, gaelic football, & touch gridiron. Then during Uni played oztag/touch footy & basketball. I had been a fan of gridiron since high school but wasn’t interested in playing until after Uni.

Winners are grinners: DB Dave after the Decade of Dominance Championship

What do you like about the game?

The fact that it is the ultimate team game – everybody has a responsibility every single play & if you don’t execute properly then you & your team will pay for it. There is no other team sport like it. In soccer, if you’re a back & the ball is at the front, you can pretty much just sit around. Likewise in rugby if you’re on one wing & the ball is on the other, you can just stand there & wait. In gridiron you can’t do any of this.

Also, people in general assume that because in gridiron you wear padding, hits/tackles aren’t very hard. Having played the other football codes, I can tell you the hits/tackles are a lot harder!

What do you find the biggest challenge of the game?

Personally, in my first few years the biggest challenge was having to know so many things (especially on defence), and being able to react accordingly on plays whilst going through certain checklists within the span of a couple of seconds.

Teamwise, the biggest challenge I think has been the team turn up & consistently work hard at training & at games over the past 10 years, & win those championships despite the changes amongst players & team personnel during that time.

For the sport of gridiron in this country, the biggest challenge, in my view, is that representative teams don’t always have the pick of the best players or coaches that are out there. A reason for this is that the sport is still at the amateur level in Australia and it is hard to find funding to support those teams so that they can have the best personnel. Politics also sometimes seems to get in the way of representative teams reaching their full potential.

Always a physical player, Dave is never afraid to come up in run support.

Where do you hope to go with the sport?

After playing almost 10 years I’m near the end of my career, and have seen & done a lot with my team mates. At the moment I’m taking a break from football. If I do return to gridiron I think the next step is to help the team’s coaches and their work with younger players & assist with their development, especially at the defensive back position. Have also thought about the possibility of running defensive back one-day camps for all DB’s around the state or country to come down & help improve their skills.

On another tangent, I have an interest in digital art & design & wouldn’t mind being involved in a project book that highlights/displays the history of the Lions (especially the 10 consecutive championships 2003 – 2012).

Favourite pre game music?

Any sort of heavy metal, punk, hard rock, or rap/hip-hop i.e. the usual suspects. Metallica, ACDC, Refused, Ludacris etc.

Ludacris’ ‘Madden 2000 theme’ is top of the list.

Favourite pre game food?

Try not to eat too much before a game, but something light like a banana or Milo Bar is good.

Favourite Lions memory?

There are so many. Of my own doing – where I pulled off a successful double-spin move down the sideline on an interception return vs the Mustangs in 2007 – even Mustangs players were coming up to me after the game & cheering the play!

Another player – receiver Marc Biedenkamp  flicking a pass, that had been thrown behind him, off his foot soccer-style & then catching the ball & running it in for a TD. An amazing play.

Team memory – being on the field & sideline with my teammates, & being apart of something special in the 10 consecutive championships.

This might sound corny, but there is this moment on each play just before the snap where everything is at peace & you & your 10 other teammates look down the field as one.

Toughest opponent you ever faced as a Lion?

Team – Western Sydney Pirates. Individual – Dean Tostoski, Wide Receiver for the Pirates. Although, some fellow Lions receivers were even tougher to face at training.

Favourite opposition to play against?

Probably the Western Sydney Pirates again. As a DB always knew they were going to test you out in the passing game & had some good games against them.

Favourite movie? 

Remember the Titans (of course!), Gridiron Gang, The Longest Yard, Saving Private Ryan, Inception, Dark Knight trilogy, Lord of the Rings trilogy.