The split rounds have commenced and when we look around we have to ask ourselves where has the season gone? It is fair to say that we all just get onto that treadmill called the weekly cycle and start peddling hard, just to keep up.
Congratulations to field umpire Rob Findlay who became the 42nd field umpire (140th all time) to umpire in 200 AFL games. Rob becomes the 5th fastest to the milestone in our history. He has taken 9 years and 53 days to accumulate the games. Rob is a model of consistency but just can’t get over the line to add the icing on the cake – finals. Look for his story celebrating his milestone on line later in the week.
Grand Final boundary umpire, Damien Cusack notched up his 100th game in the Queens Birthday clash between Melbourne and Collingwood also. Damien becomes the 138th boundary umpire to reach the 100 games milestone.
There are some interesting shifts going on with appointments this year. On the weekend we had Victorian based Adam Wojcik goal umpiring in Adelaide on Friday night and Peter Challen from Adelaide umpiring under the roof in Adelaide. Mark Ensbey travelled to Brisbane from Hobart to sit on the bench in the Brisbane v Essendon match, while boundary umpire Ben McDonald also ran at the Gabba. Sally Boud came from Perth to the G for the Queens Birthday clash in front of 83,000 spectators. I wonder how the noise compared to the new Perth stadium?
Field umpire Andre Gianfagna might need to make an appointment with our old sponsor, OPSM to have his eyesight checked. Andre had to be corrected by Sydney captain Josh Kennedy when he wrongly called the result of the toss, a tail. A second look confirmed that it was indeed a head! He could laugh off that one and immediately apologised to the captains.
The much vaunted “noise of affirmation” that did the rounds in the press during the week trying to account for the West Coast Eagles free kick counts over the past 10 years, saw Geelong not have the same “luck.” North Melbourne won the count 23 to 13? I wonder if that wasn’t just another timely deflection or is it only particular to the Perth stadiums?
Colours in umpire’s uniforms seem to have changed again this year. In 2017 umpires wore the “traditional” green in most games except when Richmond wore their away strip. The umpires wore grey in those games until the grand final when they went to blue. On the weekend our umpires wore red when Richmond wore their away strip against Pt Adelaide and donned yellow in the Queens birthday clash?
Our first FM MDE match in Brisbane this year saw acclaimed cat walk model and Down Syndrome participant, Madeline Stuart work with our group in the Brisbane v Essendon match. Be sure to check out our video later in the week. Please click here to see more of Madeline’s modelling career.