Formula One, flying, engines, traveling – one would have thought that Patrick Cran would have taken up motor car racing or flying to new travel destinations rather than turning his skills to that of umpiring.
An Insurance Broker by trade, Patrick started his umpiring career with the Sydney South Juniors in 2006. He joined the NEAFL in 2013 and umpiring the preliminary finals in both 2014 and 2015.
He notes the biggest difference between the AFL and his local league has been the amount of time he dedicates to his training, diet, recovery and preparation for training. Patrick doesn’t shy away from the physical and mental efforts required to umpire at AFL level. He is keen to establish himself as an umpire in his first year, to have a solid and consistent season, without thinking about rankings and finals selection.
He is motivated by his love for the game and says “I don’t see this as a job, if you call it a job, l have the best job in the world.” He looks forward to his first game with the roar of an AFL crowd.
The most influential person on his career to date has been Angus Heritage, who is the NSW State AFL Coach. “Gus has always been approachable and willing to chat and coach me about my training and game day performance. He has mentored me since 2013 with plenty of feedback and motivation which has got me to where l am today.” Patrick thanked the team up in NSW for all their support over the past couple of years and for making training and game day the best part of his week.
For an up and coming umpire, he acknowledges that whilst it might be hard work, umpiring AFL football is certainly achievable. “Umpiring has a lot of ups and downs affected by form, injury, personal commitments etc.” he said, “What gets noticed is how you carry yourself when times are tough. When they do get tough, keep your chin up and never lose sight of your goal.”
Article written by: AFLUA Marketing and Communications Manager, Peter Kelly.