Brent Wallace is very familiar with the blood, sweat and tears that is playing AFL football, now with whistle in hand….. not much has changed really!
Brent was appointed to the AFL field umpire panel late last year through the player to umpire pathway and is now pushing himself through his first gruelling pre season. “Training has been really challenging but rewarding, we have been completing high intensity running sessions, positional, skills and coaching sessions, I am feeling really great, I am at my best ever fitness.”
When comparing pre season training as a player to pre season training as an umpire, Brent identified that his individual training away from the group has increased. “I am following a program to ensure that I am conditioning and managing my body correctly, particularly for high intensity running sessions. It is important that I follow the steps of the program and really push myself to the limit, to get the best out of myself.”
For Brent, becoming an umpire has drawn a huge focus towards the importance of recovery on the days that he is not officiating. He sticks to a strict routine that involves getting required massages, using the roller to break up muscle adhesions and maintaining a constant sleeping pattern.
When asked if Brent was feeling prepared and ready for the season ahead he positively remarked, “the body is feeling great, I have been running good times, I’m really looking forward to the start of the NAB cup where I will umpire in Townsville.”
The umpiring locker rooms still remind Brent of the friendly banter and jokes that would go on in the players rooms. “There is a great respect for each other amongst the umpiring group, there are always plenty of jokes.”
Fellow player to umpire pathway umpires, Jordan Bannister and Leigh Fisher have provided great support to Brent. “They welcomed me with open arms, they were pleased to see me move up the ranks and make it to the highest level just as they have.” Senior umpire Matt Stevic has also extended his support by inviting the new umpires over for dinner.
There is a heap of positive energy around the umpiring group at the moment and Brent is feeling welcomed and ready to achieve great success in his umpiring career, the AFLUA wishes Brent all the very best in his first year of umpiring AFL.