Umpiring a grand final is one accolade that all umpires aspire too. Then to be chosen as the best in Australia in your craft is the icing on the cake.
Field umpire Matt Stevic was announced as the All Australian field umpire for a record fifth time at the AFLUA cocktail party on Grand Final night. AFL field umpire coach Hayden Kennedy said, “Matt had set the standards all season with regards, management and effective and pro-active communication.” Matt has been the recipient of the award for the past four years in succession which mirrors each of his grand final appearances.
Boundary umpire, Rob Haala was awarded his second All Australian, going “back to back” as the highest ranked boundary umpire in 2017. Rob thanked his team mates and praised the work of Mitch LeFevre during the grand final.
Luke Walker achieved his fifth All Australian as the best goal umpire in Australia. Despite not receiving the “gong” for the past three years we all know that you write off a champion at your peril. Luke thanked his colleagues for their support and indicated that he thoroughly enjoyed the season. Luke said, “You never take a grand final appointment for granted it’s what we all strive for and what we all enjoy.”
Pictured from left to right: Matt Stevic, Rob Haala and Luke Walker