Five State League field umpires have been selected to attend the AFLUD “draft combine” that will take place over two days later this week.
Two Victorian based umpires, Daniel Butcher and Shane Stewart, who is looking to reclaim his place on the list since his last appearance in 2013, two SA umpires, Leigh Haussen and Craig Fleer, who is also looking to be reinstated onto the list and WA rookie Matt Adams will put their skills to the test to determine whether they can claim a place on the AFL list in 2016.
Four of the five invited men umpired their state league grand finals earlier in the month. Only Shane Stewart (Preliminary Final) did not make a grand final appearance.
The umpires will be put through their paces by the AFL umpiring department. Speaking to head coach Hayden Kennedy today he indicated that it is all about the UD getting to know what the guys can do and to see how they interact together to complete their assigned tasks.
Physical activities will include a 3km run and 300m shuttles. There will be some what is your decision videos and a written laws of the game exam. Each umpire will have to make a presentation to the group and they will sit in two interviews with coaches, talent ID staff and the sports psychologist. Finally each umpire will have to complete a skills session and a range of leadership activities. The two days end with a dinner that is attended by all personnel who are involved in the combine.
At the end of the process two umpires will be selected to join the list as first year field umpires, commencing in November 2015.