Some individuals make a meteoric rise in their chosen profession or interest area, the AFL’s newest boundary umpire Peter Bock is one of those.
The Sunshine Coast based teacher has a strong athletics background and after officiating in a handful of NEAFL games last year, he received a late call up following Matt McKenzie’s retirement.
In order to determine who would replace McKenzie, Bock and previously AFL listed boundary umpire Joe Toon trialled over the pre-season.
“After the time trial, I think he (McKenzie) realised it was a bit busy to juggle everything,” said Bock.
“Then we had a trial process where two of us trialled in the NAB Challenge Games, we did the Burpengary game and then MacKay got washed out (but) we did a half each in the last game.”
“I found out I made the list the week after that. I did some observing, was overseas (for athletics coaching), a couple of games back in NEAFL and then my first (AFL game).”
A nationally ranked distance and cross country runner, Bock was in Hungary before his AFL debut as a coach at the World Schools Cross Country Championships.
“It was a great experience, it was the second one I’ve been involved in,” he said.
“We had a training camp in Prague on the way over and we really had to get the guys going from individuals to running as a team because all the countries run as teams over there.
“We finished fourth (out of 150) with our boys team and our top boy came fifth which was fantastic.”
Queensland boundary coach Grant Kent has been a big supporter, as has fellow umpire Aaron Deckys.
Deckys is one of the more senior umpires to come out of Queensland and is also a Sunshine Coast product.
Such is the commitment required, a 90 minute drive to Brisbane for training each week has allowed for Peter to pick Aaron’s brain about football and umpiring.
“We are both teachers, so we see each other regularly (at) some school meetings and I think it was there I had a bit of more a chat to Aaron,” said Bock.
“We spend about six hours a week in the car together, so we’ve got six hours mostly to discuss but it’s been a huge advantage.”
“I think I would have struggled without having the chats with Aaron, that’s for sure.”
Article written by – Ben Carbonaro