Matt Stevic – 350 AFL games, Shaun Ryan – 300 AFL games, Tristan Symes – 150 AFL games and Chelsea Roffey floored by Oscar McDonald in the Melbourne v Sydney clash. It doesn’t get bigger than this.
Shaun Ryan walked out to umpire his 300th AFL game in the same clash as Matt Stevic walked out to his 350th game. Hawthorn v Geelong was indeed a star studded clash. Statistics will show that Shaun was the 47th umpire to officiate in 300 games (25th field umpire) and that he was the 21st fastest to that tally, taking 15 years and 135 days. What it doesn’t tell you was that he retired after his 9th year and was lost to the game for three years. Only the persistence of Hayden Kennedy turned that decision around. As Shaun completes the end of his third season back, he has added another grand final to his list of achievements and AFL Life Membership.
When talking to the gathered field umpires, trainers, coaches and administration staff prior to his 300th game, Shaun reflected on his time in footy and concluded that his overwhelming feeling was gratitude. He looked around the room and sincerely thanked all within the four walls for their support and friendship over many years. He went on to say what he genuinely loves about this group now is their unconditional support for each other both on and off the field. (Hear more from Shaun in the coming week about his milestone).
Matt Stevic who partnered Shaun was the 14th umpire to reach the 350 game milestone. Matt umpired his first game in 2004 and has gone on to umpire 5 grand finals and been four time All Australian field umpire. (See our website for Matt’s reflections on his career)
Tristan Symes walked onto Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast with a little less fan fare but equally as proud of his 150th AFL game. Tristan continues to work very hard on his game and is proud of his achievement. (See the article on Tristan on our website).
A fourth milestone was created over the weekend, albeit one with a twist. Jeff Dalgleish umpired his 300th WAFL/AFL combined game in the Melbourne v Sydney match at the MCG. Jeff has umpired 187 AFL games and 113 WAFL matches. He joins Dean Margetts and Luke Farmer who are currently on the list as other recipients of that achievement.
Congratulations also goes to Matt Dervan for his 50 game milestone which occurred in round 19 (Essendon v Sydney). Matt sat as the emergency goal umpire in the 2017 grand final but says his greatest game came early this season in the first Hawthorn v Geelong match. (See his interview with Adam Wojcik on our Instagram page.)
Injuries continue to haunt our umpires both young and old. Nick Foot is finished for the year succumbing to a reoccurrence of a calf injury with 30 seconds remaining in the round 20 clash between Melbourne and Gold Coast. It was his first game back after a three week lay-off for the same injury. Andre Gianfagna who came off in the SA showdown three weeks ago has also had his season finish abruptly when he re-injured his calf again at training. Nick and Andre join Scott Jeffery and Luke Farmer who also have season ending injuries.
However, our biggest hit for the weekend was goal umpire Chelsea Roffey mixing it with Melbourne defender, Oscar McDonald. In Chelsea’s own words it was a classic “hip and shoulder.” Chelsea bounced up immediately, like a true champion. We all know it will take a few days for the bruising to go away. Chelsea added, “he was very kind, he did say sorry as he ran off.”
First year goal umpire Sam Walsh has racked up more frequent flyer points than some field umpires this season. Sam got the call up when another goal umpire Steve Piperno was injured on Thursday night and couldn’t go to Canberra for Saturday nights clash between GWS and Adelaide. It was Sam’s fifth interstate appointment in his 12 games this season.
Our FM MDE assistant trainer this week was Georgie from Adelaide. She had a wonderful time at Adelaide Oval supported by her family and friends.
Last but by no means least, please click on the link below to support our great assistant property steward, Ben Carbonaro who is going dry during the month of August. (See our instagram page to hear Ben talk about his fund raising efforts.)