Scott, is one of the youngest boundary umpires to umpire AFL football since mentor and colleague Chris Simms made his debut as a 17 year old in 2010. “I found NAB one much harder because it was all new to me,” Scott said yesterday after he helped guide his NEAFL counterparts through their benchmark 5km fitness test at the AIS track. Indeed all AFL listed umpires ran and supported their younger colleagues through the test in a great show of support and empathy.
Scott umpired his first senior game in 2010 and officiated in the Canberra Grand Final in the same year. He took all before him in 2012, umpiring the NEAFL Eastern Conference Grand Final and followed up with the cross-conference grand final.
Dale, who overcome an early season operation and return to fitness campaign completed his benchmark test two weeks ago and is eagerly awaiting his challenges as the newest listed goal umpire. “James Savage has spent many hours over the past few seasons assisting the coaches in my development,” said a relaxed but focused Dale after completing a two kilometre effort on the track. Dale has umpired more than 150 senior matches since 2003 including four Canberra grand finals and two NEAFL grand finals.
Luke Roberts, 43 looks over his boys like a proud father, “Chris Simms has matured into a very solid boundary umpire and we are looking for great things from him this season. He is very fit and focused,” mused Luke, after a series of throw in drills after training.
Luke is also looking forward to the season and perhaps the opportunity of a week off here and there with five boundary umpires now on the NSW/ACT panel.
There is no doubt that the hard work is paying off in this little enclave of the AFL.