Like so many kids at an early age, Matt Maclure started his umpiring career as a boundary umpire for the simple reasons that it was a good source of pocket money and kept him fit as he was also playing football. As the running aspect of his umpiring began to impact on his football, Matt took to goal umpiring and has never looked back, enjoying the fact he has the best seat in the house and loves the challenge of getting the score right.
In looking back, Matt goal umpired the first time when he was 13 years of age, in 2003. He umpired in three consecutive Ovens and Murray senior grand finals in 2005, 2006 and 2007 before moving to Melbourne in 2008 to continue his career with the VFL.
In 2008, he officiated his first VFL senior game and despite having 2013 and 2014 off umpiring to recover from a knee injury, has umpired 95 VFL senior, 34 AFLV Development and 25 TAC Cup games. In addition to a number of finals, Matt has umpired the 2011 TAC Cup and 2015 AFLV Development League Grand Finals and, his career highlight prior to his invitation to join the AFL, the 2016 VFL Grand Final.
Matt cites Leigh Keen as the most influential person on his career to date. “Leigh is the most encouraging and nurturing person l’ve ever met and that was exactly what l needed when l moved to Melbourne. Being away from friends and family, Leigh was a father figure to me, like he is to all young umpires in the VFL.”
Matt has always wanted to reach the elite AFL squad and experience what it is like to be involved in a game at the highest level. He describes himself as a quiet achiever who wants to get the best out of himself. He models his umpiring on some AFL umpires but looks up to the collective AFL goal umpires group because of their professionalism and the way they conduct themselves on and off the field.
One would think Matt would have time to reflect on his AFL appointment, but he’s been much too busy working for Racing Australia looking after results and communication services, during the busiest time of the racing calendar.
Matt has a number of interests across many sporting codes – AFL, he is a mad Melbourne Victory supporter, racing, motor sport and basketball. He is a fond music lover, but prefers dance music in addition to watching movies and TV shows. He aspires to getting his pilot’s licence one day.
Matt looks forward to the next chapter in his umpiring career. Congratulations Matt on your promotion and best of luck for the year ahead!!!
Article written by: AFLUA Marketing and Communications Coordinator – Peter Kelly