“Grange Hermitage” comes to mind when we talk about Justin Schmitt who umpired his 350th AFL game on Friday night, he just keeps getting better with age! Justin becomes the 13th umpire in the history of the game to achieve that feat. The affable Schmitt always has a softly spoken kind word for everyone who crosses his path, except the odd player who gets in his way!
Congratulations again to our other milestone breakers, Luke Walker and Brett Rosebury for the most finals appearances as a goal and field umpire in the history of the VFL/AFL and to Mark Thomson who moves into second place on the boundary umpire’s table. Well done.
Our grand final umpires are in for the ride of their lives come Saturday afternoon if the noise at the Adelaide oval and MCG on preliminary final days was anything to go by. Channel seven said the noise was so great the stands shook and the camera’s couldn’t be held steady on Friday night. Come Saturday 90,000 tiger supporters really ripped into their theme song with suggestions that the noise decibel reading was louder than a jet plane! The two goal umpires had to shout to each other when comparing scores at the end of the game and they were standing shoulder to shoulder.
Our rookies all had nail biting finishes on the weekend with the VFL, TAC Cup and SANFL grand finals being decided by kicks after the final siren.
Now the anxious wait is on. Those men who have put themselves into the “selection frame” for the 2017 grand final will find out late on Monday evening and the public announcement will be made Tuesday morning.
What a great time it will be to be in Adelaide or Melbourne early week and then all the attention will turn to Melbourne for Friday’s parade. What an event the 2017 grand final will be. Hang on and enjoy the ride.