Curtis Deboy debuted as the 432nd field umpire to officiate in VFL/AFL football. Curtis had charge of the Western Bulldogs v Adelaide game at Etihad Stadium. However, it was Curtis’ second recorded match. So why the discrepancy? Curtis was emergency in 2014 during a game in Adelaide when Chris Donlon came off for 5 minutes to be treated by a doctor after being contacted by players. While he records a game stat, he is not given a heritage number unless he was appointed to the game as a listed umpire.
Did you happen to see Greater Western Sydney player Jeremy Cameron’s scissor kick trying to score a miraculous goal on the weekend? Field umpire, Just Schmitt was impressed and was seen in a very animated discussion as they crossed paths ready for the next act of play. It would’ve been nominated as goal of the year had it not slid past the goal post for a behind.
ANZAC day had plenty of firsts. While 11 players debuted in the Collingwood v Essendon match so did field umpires Sam Hay and Troy Pannell. Boundary umpires Chris Esler, Matthew Jenkinson and Gerard Large. Speaking with Troy after the match he said he had experienced nothing like it. “It was a very moving ceremony. The roar of the crowd was more deafening than on grand final day last year.”
Matt Stevic umpired his third ANZAC day game, John Morris his 4th, David Dixon his 3rd and Chelsea Roffey her 2nd.
Western Australia boundary umpire Brett Dalgleish umpired his 100th AFL game on Saturday night in the Fremantle v Sydney game. His 100 game tally includes 4 finals. Brett overcame a significant illness in 2012, remained on the list and becomes the 129th boundary umpire in the games history to record this milestone. Ironically, Brett names his brother Jeff as his umpiring idol. Both brothers umpired the game on Saturday night. It was Jeff’s 99th AFL game as an AFL field umpire. I wonder if they will be together again this weekend to celebrate Jeff’s milestone.
Goal umpire Jason Venkataya reached a significant milestone of 200 AFL games. Historian David Flegg has noted that Jason is the 36th goal umpire to ever reach this milestone. It has taken Jason 14 years and 308 days to get there. Perseverance, patience and persistence are some of the words that immediately come to mind. Well done Jason, well deserved.
Micaela Wilkinson was the Fiona McBurney Match Day Experience participant at the Geelong v Kangaroos match. Micaela had a terrific day and enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with the umpires, especially out on the ground. (See our home page for our video of her day)