For the second year in a row umpires donned the blue beanies in a show of support for Neale Daniher and his Freeze MND day at the MCG. This year the goal umpires wore the beanies as part of their match day uniforms. David Dixon and Dan Wilson kept their ears warm on a cold Melbourne day.
Congratulations to boundary umpire Jonathan Creasey who becomes the 10th boundary umpire to officiate in 300 AFL games. Jonathan’s total includes 29 finals and 4 grand finals. Jonathan was first contracted in 2001 and is the “third wheel” in the trio of Wilson (403), Thomson (325) and Creasey. They have dominated South Australian boundary umpiring for the past decade and certainly built a formidable entourage of young umpires to support them in that state. (Read the article on Jonathan later this week)
One who escaped the state and headed to Melbourne to continue his career is 100 game umpire Dillon Tee. Affectionately known as “Tee-bag,” Dillon’s 100th AFL game came in the Queens Birthday match. Dillon was first listed in 2011, moved to Melbourne with his partner, Eleni Glouftsis so she could pursue her umpiring career as well. Dillon fitted right in to the Melbourne group in 2015 and has gone from strength to strength.
Dean Margetts umpired his first AFL game since recovering from a perforated stomach that happened on a plane in March. When we spoke to Dean about his comeback he was extremely pleased to be on the “G” during Sunday’s Richmond v GCS game. “I’m more concerned about the plane trip home to be honest, it didn’t go so well the last time,” he laughed.
Dean speculated that newly listed goal umpire, Sally Boud who has a current first aid certificate was sent to the MCG for her first game there to accompany Dean on his plane trip home. Sally who is WA based, was extremely excited before her first trip to the MCG. She arrived in Melbourne days early and trained with the Victorian based umpires on Thursday night as part of her learning in the role. And yes, they were on the plane home together after the match.
For the next three rounds the AFL will trial a four field umpire system in all games. With reduced numbers of games over the “bye” rounds the AFL will get a closer look at whether the increased number of field umpires improve decision making. The AFLUA and AFL will get together at the end of the trial to decide whether the new system will be introduced on a permanent basis from 2017.