Coach profile: Reens

Erini “Reens” Gianakopoulos is a long-time MUGAR, who last season returned to the club as the Division 3 coach and this year will co-coach the Senior Reserves. We caught up with her to find out about her footy credentials as well as her life outside the game.


What is your footy background?

  • 1981-2000: Backyard expert
  • 2000-2008: Melbourne Uni player
  • 2003 and 2008: Melbourne Uni Reserves Coach
  • 2017: Melbourne Uni Division 3 Coach

How did you get involved with the MUGARS?
Clea Smith asked me to fill in for a game in the 2s in 2000. Once they saw my cherry picking ability from the goal square, I was signed up on a long-term contract.

What is your coaching/footy philosophy? Has this changed at all over time?
To develop and lead a culture of unity, fun, integrity and constant learning.
I wouldn’t say it’s changed over time, but rather something that’s evolved as I’ve evolved (fancy term for getting old).

Footy highlights, either coaching or playing?

  • Co-coaching the 2003 Reserves Premiership
  • Playing in the 2005 Seniors Premiership
  • Assisting in the writing of the current club song (by “assisting” I mean I cooked dinner for those who wrote the lyrics)
  • Returning to the club in 2017 *fist pump emoji*

What do you do/like to do outside of footy?
I work in the Video Production team at Cricket Australia and am studying a Diploma of Film. I love to cook, eat, feed people and drink coffee.