The hard work over summer has been done as we caught up with the Sydney based panel on the eve of their round one clash, “the battle of the bridge” on Saturday. There was an air of anticipation as they embarked on their final training session. Looking relaxed and tanned each spoke about their aims and what they were looking forward to in season 2014. (view the website video of Michael and Rob talking about the season ahead.)

Michael was presented with his 2013 grand final photo and the Murray Williams Shield, voted by his peers as the best boundary umpire both on and off the field.

In accepting the shield Michael reflected, “Being voted by your peers is fantastic recognition of the work we do in promoting and fostering the ideals of the association in places like Sydney and recognising our talent on the field. I am indeed humbled in accepting this award.”

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Pictured back left to right, Brent Pawley, Rob Taylor, Michael Saunders and Liam Rowe

There is no shortage of talent emerging in Sydney with NEAFL boundary umpire, Dan Field-Reid considered for a place on the list along with goal umpire Angus McKenzie-Wills. Both men are in their early 20’s and pushing hard for inclusion of the panel as the next wave of talent emerges.

AFL coach Steve Keating is very proud of his young men who are pushing the conventional thinking and growing the talent pool in both NSW and the ACT.

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Pictured Michael Saunders and Rob Taylor

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