Joining the AFL Boundary list in Sydney is Michael Barlow who has given up his career and studies in the ACT to move to Sydney.

Michael started umpiring in 2010, umpired his first NEAFL game in 2012 before umpiring in the Under 16 championships in 2013 and his first NEAFL final later that year. In 2016, Michael participated in the Under 18 championships going on to umpire the NEAFL grand final in 2016 and again, in 2017.  Michael’s year finished off with him being awarded the 2017 NEAFL Boundary Umpire of the Year.

His career highlight to date was the 2016 NEAFL grand final with two strong AFL reserves teams fighting it out in the last quarter with the margin never more than a goal.  His other highlight is of course, his promotion to the AFL list.

Michael’s advice to up and coming umpires is to listen to your coaches and to take on board what they say. He is quick to thank his parents who have been the most influential people on his umpiring career and for support since he took running the white line.

Michael’s favourite café in Canberra is the Italian Continental Bakery for its authentic Italian food.  Little wonder it’s his favourite, Michael holds a dual citizenship with an Italian passport, something quite topical in his home town in recent times.

Best of luck Michael with your move to the big smoke and we wish you all the best in your first year on the 2018 boundary list.

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

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