I can’t help but think that the AFL finals in 2016 are about renewal. I cannot remember a series that has captured the imagination of the football public like it in recent years.
Brodie Kenny-Bell certainly knew he was back in finals and in the firing line on Saturday night when he was catapulted into twice by players. The first time he was put into the fence by a chasing Adelaide player trying to stop a Sydney goal. Even the commentators complimented him on getting straight up and signalling the score. The second time Adelaide player, Josh Jenkins tried taking a mark over the top of him.
What were the boots boundary umpire Brett Dalgleish was wearing on Friday night? It reminded me of the old ankle high boots players wore in the 70’s and 80’s. They certainly had no impact on his running ability which was as good as ever. Speaking to Brett today he said that they were an under armour shoe that has a black heel and that probably makes them stand out a little and look higher than they actually are. “They are a good shoe to wear particularly in the damp conditions that prevailed on Friday night.
Umpire appointments rarely mirror the home states teams came from. This week they probably got as close as they ever have. Of the 18 officiating umpires only two came from WA, Brett Dalgleish and Luke Farmer. The remaining 16 came from the three states who had teams in the semi finals. NSW had two, Michael Saunders and Brodie Kenny-Bell, SA had Michael Hammond and Matt Konetschka, while Victoria had the remaining group of David Dixon, Stephen Williams, Adam Wojcik, Damian Cusack, Chris Gordon, Matt Tomkins, Mitch LeFevre, Chris Donlon, Matt Stevic, Mat Nicholls, Simon Meredith and Scott Jeffery.
Spare a thought for the two emergency field umpires, Justin Schmitt and Shaun Ryan. They had good first finals but 12 wont go into six remaining places so they miss out. Who know what will transpire for this week’s preliminary finals.