Goal umpire, Mark Canning just keeps on racking up the milestones. Mark now moves into third place on the list of all matches goal umpired in the VFL/AFL. Now with 312 games he moved one match ahead of previously third placed Colin Hood. Mark’s match totals include 20 finals and two grand finals. Mark’s career commenced in 1994 and is now into his 21st year as an AFL goal umpire. Only Craig Clark on 334 matches and David Flegg on 337 are ahead of him.

Rookie field umpire, Curtis Deboy made his AFL debut on Saturday when he replaced Chris Donlon for less than five minutes in the first quarter of the Port Adelaide v St.Kilda match. Donlon clashed heads with a player coming out of a boundary throw in and became quite disoriented. When he hadn’t improved he called Curtis on. A few minutes later, Chris felt fine and came back onto the field. Speaking to Curtis afterwards, he was just happy to say, “It was pretty uneventful but I felt comfortable and at least I can say I’ve been out there.” Curtis, we are sure that you will get an opportunity in your own right soon enough.

Newly listed rookie Matt Adams had his first close encounter with AFL football on Saturday night when he sat as the emergency umpire in the Fremantle v Adelaide match. Adam who has umpired 40 WAFL senior matches was added to the AFL Rookie panel in late April.

Field umpire Heath Ryan was a late withdrawal on the weekend with ongoing issues with his achilles. Stuart Wenn is continuing his rehabilitation having discarded his moon boot and is now progressing to straight line jogging and unaided walking after snapping his planta facia some 5 weeks ago. Courtney Lai has commenced goal umpiring in the TAC Cup competition and is encouraged by his progress in games. Courtney is slowly regaining his confidence.

Cameras have been installed in goal posts at the MCG and Etihad stadium on a trial basis for the remainder of the season to assist with score reviews. With these cameras finally in the best position it was great to see all referrals on the weekend coming back in the affirmative supporting the goal umpires first response. A lack of cameras in the best position had started to erode the public’s view of the competence of our umpires.

How quirky is this? Two goal umpires with the surname Wilson, one living in SA and the other in Victoria are at the birth of their child three days apart last week. One child born at 1.55am, the other at 1.55pm. Both have called their boys, Oliver! Congratulations to both families.

AFL 2013 Rd 22 - North Melbourne v Hawthorn

Mark Canning’s 300 game milestone

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