MEDIA RELEASE FROM THE AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE

The AFL umpiring department wishes to advise that Jordan Bannister will return to the senior AFL list.

Bannister stepped down from the AFL list midway through last season, due to a combination of work commitments and the ongoing family support he is providing to his brother Ricky, who suffered serious spinal injuries in early 2013.

Bannister advised AFL Umpiring Director Wayne Campbell he was now in a position to be able to return to the commitment required for AFL umpiring, due to a progression in the family’s circumstances, and Campbell said he was delighted the former Essendon and Carlton player could return to AFL umpiring.

“Jordan will return to training with the senior umpires immediately and he will do a pre-season over the coming months to enable him to return to duty once the season is underway,” Campbell said.

“He has retained a good fitness base but will still need some time to get back to AFL level, but his professionalism over his time in umpiring has shown that he can reach a very high level.

“Jordan has a unique skill set for an umpire, as a former player, that made him well-respected across the competition and we are delighted he is now able to return to umpiring, and I’m also pleased that the umpiring group is very keen to welcome him back also,” he said.

Bannister said an improvement in his brother’s condition had enabled him to consider a return and he had also greatly missed the umpiring group in his time away from the game.

“I’ve missed the game and the umpiring group a lot since I’ve been away and I’m really delighted the AFL has allowed me to come back and resume with the senior group and be part of the list,” Bannister said.

“I’m looking forward again to getting out there and doing my best and hopefully making a contribution again,” he said.

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