It was great to see the AFL come out in support of umpiring and Chris Donlon after the Pt Adelaide v WCE match on the weekend.  Football has become such a complex game to manage it was pleasing to see that acknowledged.  Ken Hinkley, likewise took a much more philosophical view and didn’t get fixated on one decision.  

It is interesting to see his counterparts in the NRL absolutely “giving it” to the video referees and the NRL bunker for its alleged errors on the weekend but taking no responsibility for their clubs or players performances in losing games.  NRL CEO, Todd Greenberg is right, all sport has to grow up because without officials from grassroots to professional levels, sport ceases to exist.

Congratulations to two of our field umpire rookies, Cameron Barr and Kayne Nund on umpiring the NEAFL grand final.  It was another close game which saw the Brisbane Lions get over Sydney by 3 points.  The last four grand finals have come down to kicks after the siren or teams finishing fast and the final results being less than a goal.

Commiserations to another rookie, John Howorth.  John came off second best in a clash with ex AFL player Robin Nahas at Pt Melbourne yesterday.  John has damaged ligaments in his ankle which will sideline him for the remainder of the season.  He joins two other rookies who had season ending injuries, Alex Whetton and Liam Rowe didn’t get onto the field in NEAFL finals.

Spare a thought for three of the four boundary umpires in the Sydney final this week.  None of them had previously umpired on the ground.  Brett Dalgleish had umpired a previous final there, but Chris Roberts, Shane Thiele and Matthew Jenkinson had not stepped foot on the ground.

The umpiring team at the Adelaide oval on Saturday night had never heard the crowd as loud.  Although there was only 42,000 people there Chris Donlon had trouble hearing not only his colleagues through his communication vest but players out of his other ear.

Congratulations to Luke Walker who now equals the record for the most number of finals officiated in by a goal umpire (34) with David Dixon.  Chris Appleton and Adam Wojcik both move into 5th spot with (23)   

Field umpire Brett Rosebury moved into second all time for field umpire’s in finals (38) one more than Brett Allen, Darren Goldspink and Bryan Sheehan.  Now only one behind Hayden Kennedy and John Elder (39). Matt Stevic moves in to 5th all time with (30) while Shane McInerney and Shaun Ryan (27) are a few further back.  

Boundary umpire Mark Thomson moves into equal second all time (29) finals with Ian Burrows, Jonathon Creasey and John Lancaster.  Rob Haala moves into equal 4th (25) with Adam Coote, John Fitt, Shane Jansen, Peter McDonald, and Murray Williams.

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