Chris Esler became the third boundary umpire to reach his 150th AFL game milestone in the first eight rounds of this season when he officiated the Collingwood v Port Adelaide game on Friday 3 May at the MCG.
Chris started his boundary umpiring career in the Western Region Football League in 2000. He was the VFL umpire of the year in 2011 and was appointed to his first AFL game in round 1, 2012. He admits the game is a lot faster now and he acknowledges you need to be a lot smarter in how you run the game to conserve yourself and to make sure you have the energy for when it counts.
His most enjoyable game was last year in the 2018 finals series when he was appointed to the Geelong v Melbourne final at the MCG. Being able to run a final in his home state in front of 90,000 plus fans including his family was something that Chris will cherish forever.
Chris loves boundary umpiring for the very simple reason he gets one of the best seats in the house for Australia’s greatest game whilst also getting to run each weekend with his mates.
He admits playing football until he was 16 years old has helped him read the play which helps him on match day. He is also happy with his speed and endurance when running games but admits it is the trainers who help him prepare each week for games, not to mention his pre-match preparation of pizza, pasta and footy on the couch the night before a game and bircher muesli on game day morning.
Chris also uses a cream called ‘Finalgon’ on game day which is so hot, he doesn’t feel any fatigue or soreness. He’s not sure it is good for him, but he admits it helps him cover the 20 odd kilometres on game day.
Described by his peers as the best self-proclaimed Social Secretary the boundary list has ever seen. Chris has played an important role in off field welfare by organising dinners and outings to golf etc.
Well done Chris on your milestone and we wish you continued success in 2019.
Article written by: AFLUA Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Peter Kelly