Congratulations of course to Shane McInerney for an amazing 500 games of AFL football. However, there were two other milestones of sorts that were shadowed with the focus on Shane. Mat Nicholls officiated in his 350th AFL game when he stepped out in the Fremantle v Geelong match on Saturday afternoon. Mat becomes the thirteenth field umpire to reach this amazing milestone. He started his career in 2003 and has 24 finals including 2 grand finals in his tally of 350 games.
Brendan Hosking umpired his 150th game on Friday night when North Melbourne played Hawthorn. Brendan has been working his way through the ranks delivering very consistent performances week in and week out for many years now. An excellent runner and communicator, Brendan goes about his work very unobtrusively. Brendan umpired his first match in 2012 and his game total includes 2 finals.
A fast thinking Chris Donlon was lauded for his actions when he saw Carlton player Will Setterfield hit his head on the ground in a tackle by his WCE opponent Jack Redden in the last quarter on Sunday. Chris alerted nearby Carlton players asking them to get medical treatment for Setterfield because “his eyes were everywhere.”
Spare a thought for Perth based goal umpire, Brett Rogers who umpired his first game in Melbourne for 12 months on Saturday night. The mercury plunged, and the rain came down as Brett came to terms with a cold Melbourne winter night. He was tested when Melbourne player Jordan Lewis kicked a freaky goal through hands close to the goal line.
It still continues to amaze me how ruckmen still cannot or do not want to adjust to boundary throw-ins. Prior to each throw in the field umpire stands 18 metres from the boundary line to indicate to the competing ruckman where the ball will land. Twice on the weekend ruckmen scored goals when they didn’t reach the drop of the ball and soccered the ball off the ground for a goal.
While Shane McInerney’s feat of 500 games in the modern era is an amazing one, he still doesn’t hold the record of the most years on the list. That record is held by John F Currie. Currie umpired on the list between 1911 and 1945 for a combined total of 30 years. He umpired 4 games as a field umpire, 23 games as a boundary umpire and 232 games including 14 finals and 5 grand finals as a goal umpire. Shane has only been listed for 29 years. He eclipsed Hayden Kennedy who had 27 years of service as a running umpire.
Our FM MDE participant this weekend was Laura Amadio, a passionate Pies supporter. Please see her video tribute later in the week.