Congratulations to Simon for becoming the 22nd field umpire in VFL/AFL history to reach 300 AFL games on Saturday. Alistair Clarkson and Simon will both remember the game for different reasons. Alistair was fined by the AFL for alleging that a decision Simon awarded late in the game to the Gold Coast was disgraceful. From the feedback most pundits thought that it was fair enough considering the continual warnings the players were given to “hold” their position.
AFL umpires again supported the Big Freeze at the G on Monday with the goal umpires sporting the beanies during the game. Neale Daniher has done an amazing job highlighting this insidious disease that ,as yet, has no known cure. Former VFL/AFL umpire, Ian Coates who umpired 94 matches including 4 finals between 1968 and 1973 had his career cut short after he contracted MND. He continued to coach at the level for many years until his passing. The Ian Coates Medallion was struck in honour of Ian’s contribution to umpiring.
Sam Hay continues to umpire under the radar and has now hit his 150th AFL game. I don’t think there has been any fanfare around Sam for his whole career yet he continues to put his hand up for selection, year after year and game after game. Sam who was first listed in 2009 from SA decided if he was to have a real crack at umpiring, he would throw away his accountants suit, become qualified as a personal trainer and move to Melbourne. Well done Sam.
The Chris Kamolins curse has struck again. Chris was forced from the ground in the Essendon v Port Adelaide match on the weekend with a strained calf. The field umpires reverted to a three umpire system at quarter time.
Part of the trial of four umpire system is determining whether our umpires can back up and do two matches over a weekend. This weekend Mat Nicholls, Rob Findlay umpired Thursday night in Sydney and backed up in the Carlton v GWS match on Sunday. While Brett Rosebury and Jacob Mollison backed up from Adelaide v St.Kilda to yesterday’s game, Melbourne v Collingwood at the ‘G.
On the injury front we still have Luke Farmer and Brent Wallace who have yet to umpire an AFL game this season. Scott Jeffery is taking a cautious approach to his calf over the bye period, while Adam Coote has two games to his name and Ian Burrows, one match in season 2017. James Scully has been dogged by injury over the past three seasons and has officiated in 7 games in what was becoming his best season yet until he succumbed to a pelvic injury four weeks ago. Our goal umpires are the only group currently with a full list to choose from.
Former AFLUA President, Peter Matheson, who passed away last weekend was remembered by our umpiring fraternity for his umpiring career, his significant contribution to the AFLUA and to the AFL spanning 22 years. Our umpires wore black armbands in the Essendon v Port Adelaide match.