We all know about Jordan’s footy career with Essendon and Carlton but it is his resurgence to get to 50 games as an umpire that has pleased him the most.  “I was dying to get back,” reflected Jordan last week.  “When my family came to terms with how to best support Ricky following his accident and things settled down I realised just how much I missed being involved.”

Jordan received compassionate leave in June last year and then retired in September.  He had spent 18 months at the elite level of football as an umpire, which included a final in his first season.  Jordan was welcomed back into the group with open arms.  He had kept in contact with many of the guys who offered him great support during his leave from the AFL.  Jordan wanted to repay their faith in him.

“I met new guys who were similar yet different to footballers and I enjoyed their company.  I was lucky to be awarded a couple of best clubman awards at Carlton. This meant a lot to me because it showed that I was considered a good person who contributed to the club culture, as well as competitive in that environment.”  This has transcended into his actions as an umpire.  You could not help but be impressed by this young man and his willingness to be part of an elite group.

Jordan missed the first eight weeks as he was late to start pre-season and then missed another chunk of the season with a calf injury. “Umpiring is a huge challenge to me and since coming back I have had to re-learn a lot of the ‘one percenters’. It has only been over the past couple of weeks that I have felt comfortable again.  Rosebury and Chamberlain have been a huge support during this time.”

The coaches put no expectations or pressure on Jordan this year.  “They told me to simply get out on the ground and enjoy the opportunity to be back and build towards 2015.”  

Jordan has gone about re-inventing his umpiring career as well as balancing his work and family commitments.  His milestone in Round 20, may well be the first in a career that puts playing and umpiring on the map.

J.Bannister

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