Not since the introduction of fines for umpire contact 10 years ago have we seen the number of players fined for umpire contact than we saw on the weekend. The AFL Match Review Officer, Michael Christian has fined 5 players from the weekend’s round and 6 in the past two weeks. This follows a letter sent to all clubs at the beginning of April alerting them to the increasing level of contact. Leigh Fisher must have thought he was back playing when he was struck by two players. Dustin Martin was fined for making contact with Curtis Deboy. Curtis would weigh 62 kgs ringing wet, no one in their right mind would get in Dusty’s way surely! Is this a sign of the times given the increase in defensive strategies clubs are running or was it just luck (so to speak)?
Boundary umpire Pat Cran was back on his old stamping ground in Sydney on the weekend umpiring at Spotless Stadium. He appeared to enjoy catching up with his old mates from Sydney following his move to Melbourne in the off season. Brisbane based goal umpire, Shaun Apted has not umpired once in Brisbane this year. He has been to Cairns, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney but is looking forward to setting foot on the Gabba next weekend.
Leigh Fisher becomes the former player with the most number of VFL/AFL matches as a field umpire. Leigh officiated in his 102nd match on the weekend eclipsing Richard Gibson who umpired 101 games between 1899 and 1909. Gibson played 29 games with South Melbourne in 1897-98.
Brent Wallace experienced his first derby on Sunday in what was roundly reported as the game of the weekend. The game started in 32 degree heat and went goal for goal. “The atmosphere was electric and the noise deafening in the new stadium,” said Brent when we checked in with him to see what he thought of the day.
Ian Burrows has certainly had his running shoes on lately. When he came off the ground on Sunday at the MCG following the Richmond v Collingwood game he had umpired 3 games in 10 days. Now all he wants to do is put his feet up. A remarkable feat for one of our veterans.
Our FM MDE participant this week, Ebony Somerville had the Sydney guys on their toes. So much so when she started dancing to the music being played on the PA they all danced with her. Glad that wasn’t picked up by the cameras. Boundary umpire, Michael Saunders walked into the change rooms at the end of the game and sat straight down on the floor with his back to the wall. Ebony marched in carrying the Gatorade bottle, went over to him and squired him right in the face with the contents! The other guys still haven’t stopped laughing.