Boundary umpire Rob Haala ran under the spotlight at the MCG on Saturday night with the footy focusing on the centre piece of the indigenous round, Dreamtime at the G and the great 400 game milestone of Dustin Fletcher.
Rob’s great milestone of 250 games includes 18 finals and 2 grand finals. A sensational achievement for a young man who started his career just wanting to have a run in the southern footy league in 2001 and four years later found himself on an AFL panel umpiring his first game at the MCG. Sixteen years on and a veteran he is no less committed or focused to the task as he was in his first match.
“I just love game day, walking out onto a ground with your mates is what it is all about,” reflected Rob. His other desire is to see just how high you can set the bar. “I have an innate competitive spirit that keeps me going.”
Rob’s mindset is pretty simple. “I just focus on my performance. I haven’t fallen into the trap of worrying about others and how they are and aren’t traveling. I have the confidence to deal with whatever is in front of me and know I can get it right,” explained Rob. “I do the best I can do and I have to believe it is good enough.”
Rob has enjoyed the new coaching regime introduced by the AFLUD this season. “The directions are clear, the use of new technology has given us clear examples and a united national group. We get regular feedback about our performances and the focus areas we need to work on are simple. The group has been empowered and we are not second guessing what the expectations may be.”
Rob believes the level of performance has increased with guys across the national panel really reaching consistently high performance levels which just makes everyone work that much harder.
Rob, congratulations on reaching another milestone in your career.