It only seems like yesterday that Hayden Gavine commenced his career with the AFL, having been appointed to the list in 2017.  Two seasons later, he notched up his 50thAFL game when he took to the field on Saturday 24thAugust to umpire the North Melbourne v Melbourne game in round 23, 2019.

Hayden joined the VFL as a 17-year old in 2012, Hayden quickly established himself as a state-league umpire umpiring the TAC Preliminary Final in his first year. In 2013, he was promoted to the VFL Senior Field Umpires’ Squad.  During his time with the VFL, he umpired 70 VFL, 15 AFLV Development League and 15 TAC Cup games including 2 VFL grand finals in 2015 and 2016.

Hayden’s attraction to field umpiring is that he can contribute to a wonderful and unique game and being able to make such good friends along the way.  His greatest learning during his 50 games is don’t try and get fancy, keep things simple and do the basics well.  His advice to up and coming umpires is to surround yourself around people that are positive and want to develop.

His most memorable game with the AFL was the Richmond v West Coast Eagles game in round 22, 2019 with some commentators calling it one of the blockbuster games of the 2019 season.  His career highlight was his USAFL trip in 2018 with Shane McInerney, Ray Chamberlain and Chris Donlon. He also went to Shanghai in his first year on the list, landing the plum job of sitting on the bench, though he did return traumatized after experiencing several near misses during taxi trips through the well known Shanghai traffic.

One of Hayden’s funniest moments, though probably not at the time, happened during pre-season in Sydney’s Virgin Lounge when he was traveling with Simon Meredith and Brent Wallace for a GWS club visit during pre-season 2018.  Hayden went to the bar to order some drinks and in the process managed to smash 50 wine glasses.  One can only imagine the looks on Simon and Brent’s faces…..did they disown him or what!

Hayden’s pre-match routine is meditation, coffee and avocado on toast.  His hobbies include cooking, food, travel and skiing.

Well done Hayden!

Article written by: AFLUA Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Peter Kelly

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