Who would have thought being a soccer goalkeeper as a kid would help Brett Rogers reach his 100th game milestone when West Coast played St Kilda on Saturday 1 April 2017 at Domain Stadium.
“Being a soccer goalkeeper, I think there are a lot of similarities to goal umpiring in terms of movement, speed, ball watching and even consequence/pressure.” Brett said. “I played a lot of different sports, so l think experience with different size fields, different shaped/size balls and different speed of games has helped me to develop a pretty good spatial awareness and reading of the play.”
Brett’s 100th game was fairly straight forward. What made it extra special was having his family and friends at the game to help him celebrate. Brett took the opportunity to invite some of his previous coaches from the Swan District Juniors to the game, mindful of their support when he started out as an umpire as a 9-year old. They all joined Brett post-game at his house to celebrate and share a few laughs and stories.
Brett has two favourite decisions he has made during his career to date. “My first ever goal in AFL was in round 9 in 2009, during Indigenous Round. David Wirrapanda ran down the wing and slotted it on the run from 45 metres out. That was an unreal experience and something l’ll never forget.”
Another memorable experience in his career was during the 2011 Western Derby where Ballantyne had a shot after the siren to win the game. “The kick was from the boundary, in the sun, from 50 metres and with 20 plus players on the goal line. The ball came off hands on the line into the post. It was one of the toughest decisions l have had in terms of how it played out as well as pressure.”
Interestingly though, Brett’s career highlight to date hasn’t been on the field. Whilst he loves being a goal umpire, he has enjoyed the few roadshows he has been involved in. “I love getting kids from the regions involved in footy and umpiring and sharing my love for all things sport.” He cites two memorable roadshows – the Broome Roadshow in 2009 with Dean Margetts and the Kununurra Roadshow in 2011 with Jonathan Creasey. “Both were experiences l’ll never forget and l left feeling like l’d made a huge difference in the community and in football and probably came away a better person and umpire because of it.”
Brett’s AFL career spans 9 years since he started back in 2009. He has umpired two finals, one at the MCG in 2014 and at Domain Stadium in 2015.
Brett would like to thank everyone for the messages of congratulations and support from AFL umpires across the country and his state panel colleagues.
Article written by: AFLUA Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Peter Kelly