Matthew started with the Sydney South Junior umpiring group in 2006 and was exposed to AFL Sydney Premier Division football as a boundary umpire in his first year by Anton Lewis (AFL Sydney stalwart). Matthew progressed to senior football as a field umpire in 2008 and has been a NEAFL field umpire since 2012. In 2011 and 2015, Matthew umpired the AFL Sydney Premier Division grand finals.

Matthew’s career highlight to date has been his elevation to the AFL Rookie list for 2018 as, on many occasions, he felt he might have missed his opportunity. A number of people have been influential on his career to date including Damian Anderson, Steve Keating, Graham Glassford, Anton Lewis and Frank Kalayzich, whilst Greg Pickford and Kevin Morrison helped shape his earlier football career.

Matthew is motivated by success but he also enjoys helping others achieve their goals. He feels better when he knows those close to him are in a good space. For up and coming umpires, his advice is to enjoy the journey, the hard training, the feeling of post-game fatigue, and the ‘advice’ from players etc.

If Matthew offers you a lift to a game, think twice, as it took him three attempts to get his P-plates. However, he promises he’s got it worked out and is happy to navigate Sydney streets.

Matthew is a Facilities Coordinator with AFL NSW/ACT, not an easy task given the limited number of football ovals in Sydney. He enjoys time watching and following live sports of all types and spending time with family and friends.

All the best Matthew for season 2018. We hope it is a great learning experience for you!

Article written by: AFLUA Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Peter Kelly

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