Michael started boundary umpiring in Canberra in 2004 where he umpired his first final in 2005 and his first grand final in 2006. He then umpired the AFL Canberra Premier Division Grand Final and the Under 16 National Championships in 2007. Michael’s 2008/09 seasons were cut short due to injury/illnesses.
In 2010, Michael moved to Sydney and recommenced his boundary umpiring in 2011 and umpired the Under 18 Grand Final. He enjoyed further success with the NEAFL Grand Final in 2012 and the NEAFL Finals series in 2013 and 2014. Michael missed the 2015 finals to get married before returning to his run with success to umpire in the 2016 NEAFL Grand Final in 2016.
Michael was appointed to the AFL panel in 2017 and has quickly established himself as a competent AFL boundary umpire. He admits his 50th game has come quickly but he’s loved every minute of it. He especially loves being part of a team striving to make the game as good as it can be whilst also being part of the action with the best seat in the house.
His most enjoyable game to date was his third game at the SCG between Sydney and Collingwood with the Pies winning by a point, the noise rising to fever pitch during the last five minutes. Michael’s career highlight was a match at the MCG between Collingwood and Adelaide in 2017. After being 50 points behind, Adelaide made a magnificent comeback with the game ending in a draw.
In following the white line, he says he gets plenty of advice from across the fence. One of the funniest comments he’s heard was “You’re running faster backwards that l can go forwards!”
Michael is ably supported by his wife Marissa and their three young children – Alexandra, Joshua and Lilliana.
Congratulations Michael on your 50th game milestone. We wish you continued success for the rest of this season.
Article written by: AFLUA Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Peter Kelly