It doesn’t matter what time you ring Shane the voice always says, “G’day mate, how are you going?” The voice is always chirpy and the question sincere.
“Can we chat about your 150 game milestone?” I requested. “Really,” exclaims Shane, “It’s not really a milestone is it?” After some discussion and laughter, we agreed that it’s a good reason to have a chat and celebrate one of the mini milestones. So that’s exactly what we did.
Shane umpired his first four AFL seasons out of Adelaide. “I think me moving to Melbourne was a win win. Less boundary umpires in Adelaide meant more games for them and I have certainly improved my umpiring with more consistent appointments here in Melbourne.” Shane admitted it was tough in Adelaide with three of the best boundary umpires in the competition contesting for four spots each week with the others only getting a run every second or third week. “Sometimes you’d get coaching feedback but wouldn’t get a game for three weeks and that made it hard to put that feedback into practice,” reflected Shane.
His four years in Adelaide yielded 65 games. His last four years in Melbourne yielded 85 games. Nearly a full year of more games.
“A significantly smaller group in Adelaide made things easy in a sense. You would know and understand each other that little bit better. Twenty four guys in Melbourne just makes getting to know each other tougher. We certainly run games well however. Our teamwork is always a real focus.”
Settling into Melbourne with both Claire and I looking for work made it tough at the start but we wouldn’t want it any other way now.” Shane umpired for seven years in the SANFL racking up 107 SANFL games before making the AFL list. “It was a tough but rewarding apprenticeship.”
Shane agrees his strength is certainly his running and despite his ‘35 years (ish)’ he still finishes right up in all the boundary sessions. “With more games my consistency has definitely improved, I am now probably more rounded as an umpire.”
“Thanks for the chat Shane. 150 games is no small milestone.”