Chris Appleton has announced his resignation from the AFL Goal Umpires’ Coach role and will finish up on Friday.
Chris admitted it was a tough decision and goal umpiring has been part of his life every winter since he was 15 years old. “I’ve been lucky enough to be involved at the highest level for 21 years which l’ll always cherish. I’ve travelled far and wide and made so many lifelong friends along the way.” But on Friday, it’s time for Apples to move on, time to give more of himself to his wife Erin and the boys as their own sporting journeys start to blossom. Chris says, ‘he wants to be there to share, and he can’t wait!”
Chris has been offered a new job as Project Manager with a company called Leidos working closely with the government and the Defence Force. He hopes this will the start of an exciting new career post football.
Chris admits he will miss the umpiring banter and the many people involved in putting on AFL football each weekend. “Coaching has been a wonderful experience and l wouldn’t have changed a thing, except maybe for COVID,” he said. He thanked the AFL goal umpires for their support and friendship during his time as an umpire and coach.
In 2021, in addition to his coaching role, Chris was appointed as the VFL Umpires’ Manager at a time when the VFL was expanding the Eastern Seaboard Competition across three states (Victoria, NSW and Queensland). Chris took to the role with enthusiasm and despite the many challenges COVID threw at him, ensured umpires across three states were ready to umpire in the new competition.
Chris won’t be lost to the AFL and will do a couple of games as Score Review Officer in the ARC.
For the record, Chris umpired 283 AFL games between 2002-2019, 24 finals and 3 grand finals. He is also a life member of the AFLUA and served on the CBA working party in 2017-18.
Congratulations and thank you Chris for your contribution to AFL football over so many years. We wish you all the best in your new role and spending time with your two boys on their sporting journeys.