Damien’s umpiring career started when he joined the Eastern Football League in 2008 and finished in 2012 with the Division One grand final, before being promoted to the VFL in 2013. He umpired 59 VFL, 9 AFL Development and 10 TAC Cup games in his five years with the VFL from 2013 to 2017, highlights being two VFL grand finals in 2016 and 2017, the State League game in 2017 and the Under 18s Championships in 2016. Another highlight for Damien occurred in 2017 when he was called up from the VFL to cover injuries on the AFL boundary list and umpired six AFL games.
Nicknamed ‘Damo’ or ‘The Weapon’ Damien is someone who is very competitive, always setting out to do the best at whatever he does. He loves boundary umpiring for the simple reason is he gets paid for keeping fit. He also loves being around such an elite group of umpires who are professional in their approach but genuinely great people on and off the field.
His career highlight to date was the Easter Monday clash in 2019 where traditional rivals Hawthorn played Geelong in front of a packed house at the MCG. His most enjoyable game was his first game in Round 16 2017, when he umpired the Carlton v Melbourne game at the MCG.
Damien has worked hard on his running in the last couple of years and has noticed a huge improvement in his ability to run out games.
His advice to up and coming umpires is to run hard, throw straight and to focus on what he has learnt in his first 50 AFL games – control the controllable. In preparing for games, Damien make sure he’s fuelled with good food and has spent a lot of time on a foam roller.
Damien has heard many funny things over the fence and is perfectly positioned to hear the banter that goes on from fans on one side and the communication between players on the other. Having been called many things over the years, one of his funniest moments on field was being called a green gherkin.
Well done Damien on 50 games and we wish you continued success for the rest of the season!