Chris Appleton only looks forward and focuses on what he can control.  His hiatus in 2010 has been put to bed a long time ago.  “I use my experiences during that time as a spur.  I am not bitter at all, I have always considered myself lucky to get another opportunity,” reflected Chris today.

To know just how “Apples” has moved on, he had to challenge his memory about events at that time and how he felt.  “In 2011 when I returned my major focus was to win back the trust of the coaches and my peers by my actions on the track, in coaching and resuming my leadership role within the group.”

Apples said that the 200 game milestone had crept up on him.  “I am extremely grateful for the fuss everyone has made of the milestone.”  To remain on the list long enough to umpire 200 games means that you have been doing something right.  Apples is the current All Australian goal umpire following his grand final performance in 2014.  Apples has umpired 16 finals, the eighth highest of all time, behind current-day umpires Luke Walker (30) and David Dixon (29).

“I still see Luke Walker as the benchmark for goal umpires around Australia.  I’m grateful to be awarded the ultimate accolade last year but his longevity at the top and consistency is something I can only dream of.”

Apples would obviously love to go “back to back”, however doesn’t feel the same level of pressure he had placed on himself prior to last year.  “I was so desperate after 12 years of umpiring to do just one grand final, to be honest the pressure is off and I have certainly enjoyed my football much more this season.  Time will tell if I’m in the mix again, we will see.”

For now all that Apples is focused on are the things he can control.  His fitness is good, he is engaged in the coaching and is working in the leadership group.  A very popular figure among his peers.  Congratulations Apples.

C.Appleton

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