The AFL umpiring department has backed in its experienced umpires to take charge of the 2014 grand final.
The field umpires go into the game with Simon Meredith having umpired the past two grand finals. He is partnered by Mat Nicholls and Matt Stevic who have umpired one grand final each and are the last two All Australian umpires. Emergency field umpire, Troy Pannell is the “rookie” of the group. He is yet to umpire a grand final but has had a stellar year, including 3 finals.
Meredith has made a remarkable comeback from a serious brain bleed in the round 13 Sydney v Pt Adelaide match and was hospitalised for more than a week before being stabilised and able to travel to back to Melbourne. He rejoined the panel in round 21 and capped a remarkable comeback with his third grand final.
Matt Tomkins has gone one step further this season to be awarded with his first grand final. He was the emergency boundary umpire in last years GF. Matt is joined by Mark Thomson (4 grand finals), Ian Burrows (4 grand finals) and Nathan Doig (2 grand finals). Emergency boundary umpire is Chris Gordon (1 grand final)
Luke Walker adds another grand final in an already impressive career, having umpired every grand final since 2010. Chris Appleton achieves his first grand final after sitting on the bench last year as the emergency. Chelsea Roffey (1 grand final) is the emergency.
Pictured left to right – AFL Grand Final Field Umpires: Simon Meredith, Matt Stevic and Mat Nicholls
Picture courtesy of the AFL