Most promising goal umpire
This award was struck in 2000 and named in recognition of the outstanding contribution Brian Pratt has made to the AFLUA, umpiring in general and goal umpiring in particular.
Brian commenced his umpiring career with the VFL in 1958 as a field umpire, retiring after 1970 to pursue a career in goal umpiring. He was awarded life membership of the AFLUA in 1968 and was then awarded a Special Medallion in 1969 for outstanding service to the association. He served as an Executive Committee member and as a member of the Social Committee and was social secretary in 1967 and 1968.
He umpired his first VFL match as a Goal Umpire on 12 April 1975, Heritage Number 164, and over the next 12 seasons amassed 212 VFL matches. He was selected in the finals panel in each of those 12 years, officiating in 16 finals matches including grand finals in 1976 and 1983 and a record equalling 7 preliminary finals. He retired after the 1986 season.
In 1988 and 89, Brian was assistant coach to the VFL goal umpires panel and then in 1993 was appointed as the AFL national director of goal umpiring, a position he held for three years during which time he was responsible for coaching on a national scale and for selection and performance assessment of goal umpires at national level. This was a challenging task which Brian successfully managed and under his leadership umpires from all States were eventually integrated into the AFL Panel.
During his time as director, he focussed on the development of the younger umpires advancing through the ranks, many of whom went on to achieve outstanding success at the highest level.
Brian Pratt has made a magnificent contribution to umpiring over a long period of time and his contribution is recognised through the naming of this most prestigious award as The Brian Pratt Medallion.