It was a case of “old home week” for a number of the AFL umpires last weekend when our Tassie boys went back to Blundstone Arena and a welcome home. Scott Jeffery hadn’t been back since 1998 when he travelled to Melbourne to pursue his dream of AFL footy. While Nick Foot hasn’t been gone that long (2013) I have no doubt he enjoyed the opportunity as well. Goal umpire, Mark Ensbey still lives in Hobart and so he got his first “home game” along with rookie field umpire who also lives in Hobart, Ben Lehner. In fact our only other 2014 Tasmanian listed umpire, Mitch Lefevre was an obvious omission until he was seen sunning himself in Cairns prior to the Western Bulldogs v Gold Coast Suns game.
Field umpire Ben Ryan has been a listed umpire since 2011. He moved to Melbourne in 2013 to enhance his umpiring career. Ben made a fatal error early this year mentioning to a colleague that he had never been to Perth to umpire. Finally in Ben’s 60th game he was appointed to Patterson’s stadium for the Fremantle v GWS game on the weekend. Is the rumour that Ben, who was travelling by himself from Melbourne upgraded to Business class correct?
Dan Lawlor, son of larger than life AFLUA life member, George made his senior VFL debut at Coburg on Sunday as a field umpire. Is there any truth in the rumour that George placed a request that his son be supported by an experienced crew? Fellow field umpires, Shaun Gleeson (AFL Rookie), Heath Ryan (AFL listed) combined with AFL grand final boundary umpire, Ian Burrows and AFL goal umpire Courtney Lai. In the grandstand coaching the umpires was Stefan Grun (ex AFL umpire and current AFLUA president) and David Flegg (ex AFL goal umpire and games record holder) Then George never did anything by half!