‘Drew’ is simply ‘Drew’ was how colleague and close friend Chris Gordon responded when asked to describe Drew Kowalski.  ‘Drew is literally just Drew with everybody!’

Drew recently joined a number of his colleagues who reached their 150thAFL game, giving a true indication of the depth of umpiring talent on the AFL Boundary Squad, when he took to the field in the Western Bulldogs v Carlton game on 21 April 2019.

Drew started his career via the VFL in Melbourne, making the AFL list in 2011.  After six years in Melbourne, he moved to Queensland and became a member of the AFL squad in Brisbane.  Drew has experienced many great games to date, in different venues across Australia. What sticks out for Drew is the many fantastic people he has met along the way, in various areas of umpiring.

Chris added, “Drew is a passionate, well prepared individual that despite battling some injuries along the way, continues to get the best out of himself by doing the things that work for him.  He is constantly paying for massage and physio outside of training and games, he doesn’t drink alcohol even if he has a weekend off, and he is always preparing with hydrolyte and water.”

Drew’s career highlight and most enjoyable game to date was the Anzac Day clash in 2013 between Essendon and Collingwood. In front of 93,373 people, the Bombers led for most of the afternoon before prevailing by 46 points over the Magpies.

In preparing for each match, Drew arrives early to the game and unpacks his bag, laying items out in a certain way, to the disgust of his fellow umpires.  During the week, he maintains good healthy nutrition balanced with consistent sleep.

Drew enjoys the weekly mental and physical challenges that each game presents and the experience of umpiring with 10 other officiating umpires in a game of AFL football.  One of the proudest part of Drew’s game is his decision-making.

Congratulations Drew on another milestone in your career.

Article written by: AFLUA Marketing and Communication Coordinator, Peter Kelly