Congratulations to veteran field umpire Mathew Nicholls, who completes his 400th career AFL match on Saturday, 27 May 2023, as Melbourne and Fremantle go head-to-head at the iconic MCG in Round 11.
Mat first took up the whistle in 1992 with the Diamond Valley Football League, and after plying his trade in the VFL, the AFL came calling for him in 2003. His introduction to the top level arrived in Round 2 that year, as he presided over the St. Kilda v. Adelaide match at the then-named Telstra Dome (Docklands Stadium) in Melbourne.
Guided by his professional approach to the umpiring craft, determination and preparations, the whistleblower has continued to conquer milestone after milestone. Landmark career highlights for Mat include umpiring in the 2003 VFL Grand Final, clocking two successive AFL Grand Finals (2013 and 2014), claiming the All-Australian blazer in 2013, as well as umpiring in the International Rules Series. He has also taken charge of 28 AFL Finals so far.
Mat was awarded Life Membership of the AFL Umpires Association in 2012, marking his 10-year association with the AFLUA. A keen golfer, he has taken a leading role in organising our current and life members’ Golf Day on multiple occasions.
Well done, Mat, on another major achievement! We wish you the best for Saturday.
Featured image: Mathew Nicholls during the 2019 AFL round 20 match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Geelong Cats at Optus Stadium on August 03, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Photos)