Jack Edwards became the 433rd field umpire to debut in a VFL/AFL game. Jack was in charge of the Melbourne v Hawthorn at the MCG on Saturday. Jack has come through the VFL ranks as a rising star. He umpired the TAC Cup grand final in 2012, the VFL development league grand final in 2013 and the VFL senior grand final in 2014 before being offered an AFL contract this season.
Unfortunately, like fellow 2015 debutant, Curtis Deboy, Jack’s first bounce in AFL footy won’t be one he fondly remembers. It was a recall.
Boundary umpire, Michael Marantelli officiated in his 100th AFL game last weekend. Michael was promoted to the AFL panel in 2011 got his start in umpiring in the Essendon District League. In only his 3rd year on the AFL list Michael was selected to umpire the 2013 AFL grand final. Also included in his 100 games are 7 finals. Congratulations Michael.
Our Fiona McBurney Match Day participant this weekend was Isabel Fitzgerald. (see her day in pictures on our website) Adrian Panozzo, current CEO of Apricot Consulting and former AFL umpire was the chaperone for the family on the day. Isabel’s mother, Gretchen said, “I’m sure it’s a day she will never forget. She now understands that there are more than two teams involved in a game of football.” Isabel said the highlight of her day was walking out onto the MCG and receiving the signed football.
You may have noticed that the umpires in the WCE v Gold Coast Suns match on Saturday wore black armbands. A very sad story has emerged that has impacted on the umpiring and football community in WA in the past week. WAFC umpire development manager, Dean Margetts has been supporting the family of an umpire, Vance Burton in the South West who also acted as the region’s umpire co-ordinator following the tragic death of his six year old son while a spectator at a car rally. Vance also umpired WA colts footy in the 1990’s. Our deepest sympathies are extended to the Burton family.
Grand final boundary umpire Adam Coote took his first steps towards match fitness on the weekend when he umpired in the VFL development League in his return to football after a successful knee operation late last year.