Congratulations to our three debutants in round one over the Easter weekend. Dreams do come true for the three boundary umpires who have worked very hard for many years to enjoy this one moment.
Lachlan Rayner debuts in the Melbourne v GWS game at the home of football, the MCG. Patrick Cran get his first look at the SCG when Sydney takes on Collingwood and Josh Garrett walks out on Domain Stadium in Perth on Sunday when WCE plays Brisbane.
Also on their first appearances in an AFL game, albeit on the bench are newly listed goal umpires Sally Boud and Matthew Dervan.
Field umpire Craig Fleer walks out in the Richmond v Carlton season opener tonight for the first time since 2014. Craig returned for a season in the SANFL in 2015. Shane Stewart is another name people will remember. Shane returns in season 2016 as a “rookie” field umpire and will sit as the emergency field umpire in the Western Bulldogs v Fremantle match.
Dean Margetts is the only obvious omission from round one due to illness. He has now been in the Royal Adelaide Hospital for 10 days recovering from stomach surgery after his stomach perforated during his flight home after the Melbourne v StKilda NAB Challenge match.
Goal umpire Daniel Wilson is also on the comeback trail following a tough preseason racked with leg injuries.
SA boundary umpire, Chris Bull will make it 100 AFL games when he steps out in the Pt Adelaide v StKilda match on Sunday. We will read more about that next week.
Finally the boundary umpire list has been completed with newly listed umpire, Peter Bock being added to the list when another Qld based boundary umpire, Matt McKenzie retired six weeks ago.
Sound the siren. We are ready to go.