You could be excused for thinking that at the start of the bye rounds, with only 6 games on, that footy might just slip from front of mind as some teams take a well earned rest. Waking up on Tuesday morning that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Score review under scrutiny again, umpire aggressively abused coming off the ground at half time, the media forgetting their preseason rules presentation regarding rough conduct, a trial of the use of four umpires in a game with only three on the field at any one time sees two very experienced umpires succumbing to injury.
The best news was reserved for our long time Historian and Statistician, David Flegg AM, who was awarded the Australia Medal for his significant service to Australian Rules Football as an umpire in the Queens Birthday Honours. (See the article on our website for more details)
There were no major milestones recorded this week, however, field umpire Matt Stevic, moved into 7th place on the all time games umpired for field umpires with 367 games ahead of Scott McLaren (365). Matt now sits behind Darren Goldspink (371), Stephen McBurney (401), Brett Rosebury (407), Rowan Sawers (410), Shane McInerney (494) and Hayden Kennedy (495)
Shane McInerney has now been sidelined for four weeks with injury and is still one match away from equalling Hayden Kennedy’s all time games record.
It was great to see Australian Hall of Fame umpires, Bryan Sheehan and Brett Allen at the Hall of Fame function last Tuesday night. Bryan, of course is a current AFL Assistant Coach and Brett Allen is a keen observer of umpires and AFL football. Brett might be enjoying his retirement from umpiring but he is still invested and enjoying the football. It was a pleasure to be seated with Valerie Mc Arthur and her daughter Karen at the event which honoured Tom’s career as a Hall of Fame member. Tom passed away suddenly in June 2018. He was one of only 14 umpires in the Australian Football Hall of Fame. It is certainly the best night on the sporting calendar to be involved in.
Congratulations to all of our AFL umpires around the country who purchased a Fight MND beanie from us in support of Neale Daniher and his Fight MND campaign. A special mention to our Queensland group who also enticed their NEAFL umpires, coaches and support personnel to get on board and added another 50 beanies to our order. Yesterday at the MCG was an amazing sight looking into the crowd predominately wearing the beanies in recognition of the campaign.
I’m not sure if the beanie will catch on as a must wear for our goal umpires, but Steve Piperno and Michael Craig certainly looked the part during the game.