Warragul boy, Chris Roberts walked onto the MCG on Saturday in the Geelong v Hawthorn match very proud of his 200 game milestone. His good mate, Chris Gordon estimated that Chris has travelled up and down the Princes Highway to the tune of 122,400 kilometres to undertake his role. Now that’s passion and commitment. Chris’ total of 200 games includes 7 finals. Chris had a wretched run with injury and illness over the 2015-16 season’s, only umpiring 15 games in total over the two years but he has returned to full fitness this season umpiring 16 games to date. Well done Robbo. (See the article on Robbo’s career on our website)
Our stocks of fit and available boundary umpires has hit crisis point with Lachlan Rayner having to double up on the weekend with no fit boundary umpires available Australia wide. This includes Damien Main coming in from the VFL as a long term injury replacement last weekend who will umpire in the AFL for the remainder of the season. It was good to see Chris Bull return after 5 weeks out with injury. Are the fitness expectations and the weekly grind of running AFL football becoming too tough? Remember, these finely tuned athletes are running between 15 and 19 kilometres a week in a game at very high intensity.
First year goal umpire Matt Maclure found out just how easy it is to get tangled in play and had his cap rearranged in the Carlton v Bulldogs game but like all good goal umpires, signalled, waved his flags and then fixed his cap.
I can’t understand all of the hysteria around the roof at Etihad Stadium again over the weekend. “It was freezing cold and very windy,” claimed one disgruntled supporter. I didn’t notice anyone at the MCG, only 5 kilometres away complaining about the same conditions?
Umpires in the Carlton v Western Bulldogs wore black arm bands as a mark of respect of the passing of boundary umpire, Graham Carberry.
Ray Chamberlain had a light hearted moment in the game between Geelong and Hawthorn when he awarded a free kick to Patrick Dangerfield. Ray explained to Luke Hodge that the free was awarded for taking his arm in the marking contest. Luke’s quick reply came with a smile, “did you see how high he jumped?”
Jesse Fisher was the Fiona McBurney participant this week, helping our umpires in the Port Adelaide v North Melbourne game at Adelaide Oval. See his story in pictures later in the week.
We have some great milestones coming up over the next two weeks with Mark Thomson 350, Mat Nicholls 300, Troy Pannell 200, Andrew Mitchell and Rob Taylor 100 and Mark Ensbey 50. Stay on the lookout for the articles and interviews.