The AFL Umpires Association, in conjunction with the AFL Umpiring Department, welcomed a group of Life Members to Marvel Stadium for a unique meet-and-greet opportunity with the current AFL running umpires and coaching staff.

The visit coincided with the AFL Season 2023 Sir Doug Nicholls Round celebrations, and included a behind-the-scenes tour of the AFL Umpires’ training facilities at Marvel Stadium and a coaching session by AFL Umpires’ Head Coach Michael Jennings.

Other highlights included a tour of the AFL Review Centre (ARC), as well as a presentation hosted by senior umpires Chris Donlon and Jeff Dalgleish covering the finer points of the newly-introduced four-field umpire system, with a brief Q&A session afterwards.

Life Members also witnessed the Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony by Aunty Joy Murphy and Indigenous VFL umpire Joshua James, which marked the commencement of the Sir Doug Nicholls Round. Glenn James OAM, the first and only Indigenous umpire to have officiated in the VFL/AFL history, and the honouree for this season’s Sir Doug Nicholls Round, was the special guest speaker for this traditional ceremony at Marvel Stadium.

AFL goal umpires Luke Edwards and Simon Plumridge were presented with special hand-painted boots for their Dreamtime at the ‘G match, courtesy of Joshua. The Sir Doug Nicholls Round this year coincides with Rounds 10 (19-21 May) and 11 (26-28 May), and will also feature umpire shirts showcasing designs by Joshua.

The evening’s proceedings concluded for our attending Life Members with light refreshments.

Special thanks to the AFL, the AFL Umpiring Department and all the attendees for making this event a success.

Check out a selection of photos below, courtesy of the AFLUA media department:

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