Most of us are fairly grumpy when starting work on a Monday morning but spare a thought for Matt Jenkinson who was waiting for his phone to ring for two reasons (1) was he appointed to the 2018 finals panel or (2) was his wife going into labour with their second child.  Hardly a productive morning could be expected.

Lucky for Matt he received two phone calls.

On the home front, Matt, Louise and Alice welcomed Toby into the world.  On field, Matt was appointed to officiate in two finals – the 2ndElimination Final between Sydney and GWS and the 2ndSemi Final between Collingwood and GWS.  So, September has been a whirlwind month for Matt and his family. Whilst Matt loved his two finals appearances, he is now looking forward to having some time away from umpiring to spend time with his growing family.

In addition to the above, Matt celebrated his 150thAFL game at the 2ndElimination Final. Matt took the game in his stride and was excited to umpire at the Sydney Cricket Ground once again.  Still he loves every game he does each week and admits his game has progressed over his 150 games now that he’s more relaxed and enjoying his umpiring.  One thing he’s learnt is to focus on himself and control the things he can control.

In addition to his finals this year Matt’s highlights include his trip to umpire in Shanghai earlier this year.  To have the opportunity to umpire a game outside of Australia, explore a new city and experience a different culture are memories that will live with Matt for years to come.  His most memorable game to date was the Anzac Day clash in 2015 at the MCG which was the biggest crowd he’s ever umpired in front of.

Matt prides himself on his two strengths – his ability to make decisions under pressure and composure during games. These strengths help him approach game day in a positive frame of mind.  He loves game day, the build-up to each game, the atmosphere and everything that comes with walking out on the ground to umpire an AFL game.

During the working week, Matt is a physiotherapist which comes in handy for knowing how to best manage his body during what is a long and demanding season.

Congratulations Matt on your 150thAFL game and to you and your family on the arrival of Toby.  Enjoy your off-season!

Article written by: AFLUA Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Peter Kelly

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