What an amazing first week of finals football we had the pleasure of witnessing. Teams evenly matched following what was a controversial bye weekend, because they came into the weekend fixtures as fit as they could possibly be. We believed going into the bye week the only stakeholder that would be happy were the umpires. “We don’t get the luxury afforded the teams with a week off during the season and while we don’t take the bumps and the big hits we do run further in games than the best mid-fielders in the competition, and we are certainly older,” said an insider today.
So what about our first timers in finals, how did they see the games they were involved in? Damien Cusack who ran the boundary in Adelaide said, “Early in the game when I was standing on the post it was so deafening I couldn’t hear anyone. It was the best thing I’ve ever done by a mile.” Chris Kamolins who was in the field in the same game was also amazed at the early intensity, “What a privilege it was to umpire an AFL final reflected Chris with a broad smile on his face.”
Angus McKenzie-Wills was also amazed with the pre match in Sydney, “It even took politics off the front page of the Sydney newspapers.”
Whatever the results of our performances last weekend, we know that the umpires required for this week have halved the finals panel. Many good performances over the weekend will no doubt make it challenging for the selection panel. Remarkably only the best will survive.
Article written by: AFLUA CEO, Peter Howe