Seventeen years on and over 707,000 kilometres of travel between Perth and Melbourne, Dean Margetts umpired his 300th AFL game at the new Optus Stadium in Perth on Saturday night in the match between Fremantle and Essendon. Both Ross Lyon and John Worsfold congratulated Dean on his outstanding achievement prior to the game. Dean’s family and closest friends enjoyed the hospitality of the new stadium at a corporate function provided by the AFLUA in conjunction with the AFL to mark the occasion. (See our video interview with Dean on the website later this week.)
Congratulations also goes to first gamer Adam Reardon. Adam will be awarded Heritage number 575. Adam moved from Tasmania to Brisbane to secure a place on the AFL list following 150 TSL senior matches, 7 senior grand finals and 5 State games. Adam has had trouble coming to grips with the Queensland summer but has slotted in nicely with his new umpiring colleagues. He ran the boundary on the same side as a former Tasmanian, Mitch Lefevre which was a special thrill for Adam. Adam reflected, “the build-up to the game was amazing and the most exciting part. When Brisbane drew level with Melbourne in the last quarter the crowd noise was amazing.” We asked if the move was worth it? “Absolutely,” said Adam in a heartbeat. When asked if he is looking forward to his second match he said he will be flying to Perth. Gold Coast has a home game this weekend against Fremantle at Optus Stadium during the Commonwealth games. Adam certainly has had a flying start to his career.
Brett Rosebury continues to move up the ranks of games umpired by an AFL field umpire. Brett now sits 5th all time with 373 games. Ahead of him are Stephen McBurney (401 games), Rowan Sawers (410), Shane McInerney (468) and Hayden Kennedy (495)
It was good to see Alex Whetton down among the group for his first official taste of Melbourne. Alex was added to the AFL list in the middle of February and is just tidying up some loose ends before moving to Melbourne permanently. Alex spent the week being inducted into the Melbourne group and sat on the bench on Good Friday.
While speaking of Good Friday the AFLUA donated $6,500 to the Royal Children’s Hospital Appeal. Newly elected executive member, Tim Lougoon, his wife Louise and young son Mitchell represented the association and handed over the cheque on channel seven. (see our Instagram post)
Our two FM MDE participants in round 2 certainly provided our umpires with some highlights. Jacob Early from Sydney pulled all the umpires into a huddle after the game and congratulated them on a very good performance. He was concerned that a couple of the umpires might not have run as hard as others and was going to ration the sports drinks. He also believed he had a better six pack than Chris Donlon. Chris Maker travelled to the MCG from Sale for the game and was extremely excited about being on the ground and part of the game.
Did Geelong coach Chris Scott suggest tongue in cheek that field umpires would deliberately bounce poorly in AFL matches because they don’t like the bounce? He understands very little about how highly all umpires treat the notion of integrity and how clearly they understand their place in the game. They abide by the umpires decision.