History was made on Saturday night at the “G” when our two female goal umpires were appointed to the “field of women” match in recognition of the women’s round and the breast cancer network.  Rose and Chelsea had been involved in extensive media in the lead-up to the game and represented umpiring and women in an extremely positive light.  They are both true professionals.

Field umpire, Stuart Wenn has certainly stepped in front of a black cat.  Coming off his best pre-season for a number of years, without injury, he was forced out of a round 6 match with a leg injury.  He returned to the VFL this weekend only to tear his planta facia in the warm up at Visy Park on Saturday.  Never one to look at the down side Stuart spoke immediately with the physiotherapist, charted his recovery time and how he has to rehab the injury even before he had the scan.  Let’s hope it is a three week rest and not worst case a six week rehabilitation.

It was good to see Justin Schmitt back in the VFL for his first game since he tore his calf in round three in the Carlton v Essendon game.  Justin, who has umpired 266 AFL matches, has missed extensive periods in the game over many years through chronic back and nerve related injuries.  Justin is the most dedicated to his rehabilitation to stay in top physical condition.

Commentators are becoming fixated on the distance boundary umpires are throwing the ball back into play over the past few weeks.  You will often hear them say “that was a terrible throw-in it fell well short of the ruckmen!”  While there are throw-ins that are short and need to be recalled, like centre bounces that are badly off line, it is the boundary umpires responsibility to throw the ball in eighteen metres and NOT to the ruckmen who are often standing 25 metres from the boundary line for strategic purposes.

Goal umpire, Courtney Lai who was injured in round two 2013 has returned to the field as he continues his rehabilitation from a knee reconstruction.  Courtney has umpired in the TAC Cup competition for the past two weeks.

A belated mention to our intrepid Stawell runners.  While the competition is well over for another year it was great to see Ian Burrows win the back-markers 3200m and finish second in the back-markers 1600m.  Shane Thiele, Michael Marantelli, John Morris and Drew Kowalski were also well placed in their events.  AFLUA life member Allan Cook was there finishing 5th in his 800m final while giving most other competitors a 20 year advantage.  Another life member, Gordon Muir had his fair share of entries as well.

Jordan Bannister succumbed to a calf injury in the first quarter of the St Kilda v Carlton match on Monday night and was replaced by Scott Jeffery who then went on to umpire his second match of the weekend coming off his appearance in last Friday’s game in Sydney.

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