Has this ever happened before?  Sam Walsh runs into goal and kicks the ball over Sam Walsh’s head for another Carlton major.  First year Carlton recruit Sam Walsh has been a young up and coming star in his first year in the AFL.  In their round 5 game against the Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium, our best first year goal umpire, Sam Walsh stood in the goals.  Some would argue they even look alike.

Evergreen boundary umpire Shane Thiele became the 141st umpire to reach 200 games.  He is the 48th boundary umpire to achieve the milestone.  It certainly puts Shane into elite company.  Shane moved his family to Melbourne from South Australia to pursue his umpiring and it has certainly paid off for him.  Shane is rarely seen without a smile on his face and arrives at every training session ready to challenge himself and others.  We can only stand back and admire his resilience.  He is the 19th fastest to achieve the milestone in 10 years and 26 days. 

Bendigo born John Howorth became the 443rd field umpire to debut in VFL/AFL football. John was in charge of the St Kilda v Adelaide match at Marvel Stadium.  John credits former VFL umpire Dean Goodridge as one of his earliest coach/mentors for his rise through the ranks of the VFL for his first contract. John prides himself on his fitness, he is one of the fittest field umpires on the list.  “I had an amazing day with a lot of support from family, friends and the team l ran with on the day.  It was everything people told me it would be,” reflected John when I caught up with him early in the week.

Shaun Ryan officiated in his 6th ANZAC Day match which is a remarkable effort for this 312-game veteran.  Shaun wasn’t on his own.  Boundary umpire Matt Tomkins officiated in his 3rd, Steve Williams, Brendan Hosking, Damien Cusack and Josh Mather fronted up for their 2nd whilst Andrew Stephens, Tim Morrison and Mark Ensbey made their debut.

Congratulations to two boundary umpires who have notched up their 150 AFL games.  Drew Kowalski umpired in his home town of Melbourne in the Western Bulldogs v Carlton match in Round 5 while across in SA, Matt Konetschka umpired his in the Adelaide v Gold Coast game.

Young gun field umpire, Nathan Williamson umpired his 50th AFL game on Easter Thursday night at the Gabba when Brisbane played Collingwood in front of their first full house for many years. Nathan took just a little over 2 years to reach his first mini-milestone.  See the interview on our website with Nathan and Brent Wallace who brought up his 50th game in Round 4.

And our much-traveled President Brett Rosebury became only the 18thumpire to officiate on each day of the week after umpiring on Wednesday 24 April at the MCG.

We have had the opportunity to chaperone Josh Winslow in our Fiona McBurney Match Day Experience program.  Please tune in to Josh’s video.  He was a great supporter on the day.