Libby performs in the All Stars match

Libby Toovey is part of the female pathway academy and a current member of the VFL Development Panel, as well as an AFLUA member.  

Libby has had a mammoth 2016 by any standards.  She commenced her career as a professional school teacher and was promoted onto the VFL list and into the pathway program.  As part of that pathway she is required to train with the AFL umpires once a week and then work with the VFL for the remainder of her week.  

Libby is a strong and passionate advocate for women’s rights and in her own words “was pumped” to be selected to field umpire the match.  Well done Libby.

E J Whitten game

Across town on Friday night some old hands were back on the wheel and enjoying the footy feel again.  Scott McLaren, Stephen McBurney, Brett Allen and Martin Ellis had control of the E J Whitten match at Etihad Stadium.  While three of the four boys had previous EJ Whitten experience, Brett Allen came in for his first run since the end of 2007.  Brett still had that cheeky smile, still had his usual chauffeur, his father and although he said he required a large shirt and shorts remained in remarkable shape for someone who had been out of the game as a running umpire for 9 years.  

Boundary umpires, Sam Leslie, Paul Miesen, Malcolm Owen and late replacement Allan Cook, who came off the bench for the perennially injured Glenn Sinclair a few weeks before the event, had a lot of running to do in a high scoring, long quarter game.  It was good to see Sam Leslie back after a long absence.  Sam finished umpiring in 2004 but was often seen pounding the boundary in an EJ Whitten game before family overseas holidays in June became the norm.  Malcolm did get through the game and Paul enjoyed his first time appointment following the 2015 “come over the fence as any emergency” when Malcolm went down in the first 10 minutes.

Phil Watson and Doug Gourlay were suitably impressed with David Roden’s performance and were in no hurry to emulate any of it.  Both “old” boys relished the opportunity to stand alone in the goal square to rekindle their memories.

Life member and current trainer, Doug Bartlett looked after the guys medical needs and oxygen tanks!  Peter Cameron provided the off field coaching support.  Camo has now been involved in all 21 EJ Whitten games, a remarkable effort.

We thank you all for giving up your time to make a good event even better.




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