Photo courtesy of: Grant Case
Here we are with the blink of an eye on the brink of another season ending finale to match all finales. When did a season go down to the wire like this one?
Snow fell on Canberra’s Manuka Oval during Friday night’s clash between the Hawks and the Giants. It’s believed to be the first time an AFL match has seen a dusting of snow in the league’s history though those with memories of VFL Park will probably think otherwise. Sam Hay and Alex Chisholm were rubbing their hands just to keep warm as the emergency field and goal umpire. Cups of hot tea and buckets of warm water were the feature of the club’s benches, not mist fans and ice jackets. However, my mind wanders back to our current AFL List Manager, Adam Davis’ time on the list. He passed the initiative test and took a fan heater with him onto the bench in Launceston during one of his stints as an emergency field umpire!
Congratulations to field umpire Nick Brown for bringing up his first milestone of 50 games when he umpired the Q clash at the Gabba on Saturday evening. It has taken Nick two stints on the list 2013-2014 and 2016 ongoing. Nick took his delisting in 2014 as a challenge and went back to the VFL, umpired another senior grand final and knocked the door down to demand a second chance. Nick admits he is umpiring with more confidence and understanding of what is required of an officiator at the highest level and is leaving no stone unturned. Well done Nick.
Head of WAFL umpiring and of course our own Dean Margetts, worked closely with the Stephen Michael Foundation in Perth to sit all WAFL and WAFL Amateur umpires down in the one room to watch the Adam Goodes documentary. He then had Stephen Michael, Foundation CEO, Paul Mugambwa, stand and provide some reflections of his stand against racism. It was a great night of introspection and quite powerful with nearly 200 umpires in the room.
Our final South Australian FM MDE participant, James White supported our umpires in the Port Adelaide v Sydney match at the Adelaide Oval. James, a staunch Adelaide supporter who bucks the trend in his family, still enjoyed the day to meet players from both teams and assist our umpires.
Simon Meredith moved into 10th place all time in the field umpires’ total games list. Simon equals Australian Football Hall of Fame umpire and current senior assistant coach, Bryan Sheehan on 363 games. Even their finals records are similar. Bryan totals 37 finals and 6 grand finals, Simon 30 finals and 5 grand finals. Well done Simon.