Field umpires, Justin Schmitt and Troy Pannell stood in front of their Melbourne colleagues before training on Thursday night and announced their retirements from AFL Football at the end of the season. Scott Jeffery spoke of Justin’s contribution to umpiring and Simon Meredith spoke of Troy’s legacy. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house – everyone rolled around the coaching room crying with laughter. It’s no laughing matter however, with the group losing over 500 games of experience.

Milestones were front of mind in Adelaide where Jason Moore ran onto the ground in his 100th game. Jason has spread his talents between Melbourne and Adelaide. Jason returned to Adelaide at the end of 2017 to join the SA police force. Jason becomes the 366th umpire to officiate in 100 games or the 140th boundary umpire.

Justin Schmitt moves into equal 8th place all time with current senior assistant coach, Bryan Sheehan on 363 games.

Goal umpire Sally Boud almost became Oscar McDonald’s second goal umpire victim in two weeks when she was caught in a group of players flying for a mark on the goal line in the WCE v Melbourne game on Sunday. Sally picked up her glasses and called for a score review, where the week before Chelsea was knocked into the turf after the ball went through.

Our final FM MDE participant was out of Adelaide again this week. Adele Solomon was a great addition to our trainers in the Adelaide v North Melbourne game. She grew from a shy quiet young woman into an Adelaide supporter almost over half time. Adele and her family had a great day. Thanks again to all of our chaperones and trainers who make this program possible.

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