Former AFL footballer David Rodan will debut in his first AFL game this weekend as a goal umpire. David will partner Stephen Williams in the Nth Melbourne v Fremantle match this Sunday.
David played 185 games for Richmond (2001-2006) Pt Adelaide (2007-2012) and Melbourne (2013). He becomes the 84th VFL/AFL player to turn his hand to umpiring following a playing career. David represented Australia against Ireland in 2008.
Following three knee reconstructions during his football career David wasn’t finished with football. He played with West Preston in the Northern Football League before he transitioned to goal umpiring in 2016. The AFL appointed former goal umpire, Jason Venkataya to coach and mentor David through his transition from playing to umpiring.
David has taken to goal umpiring with great success. His elite skill of being able to read the play, combined with his speed and positioning has meant that he has climbed through the ranks very quickly to debut within two years of taking up the challenge.
David was added to the elite goal umpire panel as a pathway umpire four weeks ago when it became apparent that his form warranted selection.
David was introduced to the public as a goal umpire in the 2016 EJ Whitten Legends match at Etihad Stadium here he moon walked, kissed players and did the worm all in the name of publicity. Don’t expect the same from him this weekend. “I’ll just let my goal umpiring do the talking,” said David when told of his first game last week.