AFL CEO, Gill McLachlan hit the nail on the head earlier this week when he mused, attendances are up, football is exciting and unpredictable, scoring in up, stoppages are down and all that makes headlines are a couple of umpiring decisions because journo’s don’t want to be seen talking the game up!  How true is that.

There’s no way you could have picked all the outcomes of Round 7. The amount of upset wins created history for the competition, becoming the first round to have all nine teams who were placed lower on the ladder than their opponent come away with wins.

Round 7 was community umpiring week. All the AFL umps took time away from Ikon Park on Tuesday night to be spread around the local communities. Many run the training session and skills for the groups and then attended a Q & A. Plenty of great stories coming out of the week and one that the AFL umpires enjoy doing. 

Our milestones keep coming.  It took Peter Challen, 11 years, yes that’s right, 11 long years to hit his first milestone of 50 AFL games.  Peter umpired his first AFL game in 2007.  Three years later, in 2010 on 31 games he was delisted.  In a great story of persistence and dedication Pete was put back onto the AFL list in 2016 and umpired his 50th game in the Pt Adelaide v WCE fixture on Saturday.  An amazing effort Pete.

Michael Craig umpired his 50th match when he walked onto the ground in the Collingwood v Carlton fixture at the MCG.  Unlike his counterpart, Pete Challen, Michael only took 3 and a half years to complete his 50 game milestone.

Boundary umpire, Michael Marantelli umpired his 150th game on Friday night in the StKilda v GWS clash.  Michael’s tally includes 13 finals and 2 grand finals.  He is a model of consistency and a class runner.  Well done Michael.

Goal umpire Matt Maclure became the 346th goals umpire to be appointed to a VFL/AFL game when he stood in the goals in the Melbourne v Hawthorn clash.  Matt who hails from Alubry started umpiring when he was 13.  It’s been a great journey, one that his many friends and family has closely followed.

On the VFL front, AFL pathway umpire Annie Mirabile officiated her first VFL Senior game at Victoria Park last Sunday. A great achievement! Congratulations Annie.

Spare a thought for WA goal umpire Brett Rogers who had to miss the Fremantle v Essendon clash when he was pruning his roses and had his eye pricked by a thorn.  Brett is recovering but doctors were fearful of his sight for a while.

Boundary umpire Adam Coote, like his good friend and counterpart, Ian Burrows cannot take a trick this season either.  Adam was back for his first game in Rd6 following off season surgery on his Achilles only to injure his calf in Friday night’s game.  Adam was forced off the field half way through the second quarter which meant the other boundary umpires had to revert to a 3 umpire system.  Now there is a blast from the past.

The Herald Sun made for interesting reading yesterday morning when one former umpire got a little confused…  The HS, had Ben Ryan, Scott Jeffery and Chris Kamolins umpiring two games on the same day 3,000 kilometres apart.  “I knew they were good but really,” he was heard to say over his coffee. 

The Dalgleish brothers, Brett and Jeff are still going head to head in the games stakes.  Brett will umpire his 150th game next weekend with Jeff following a week later.  It was exactly as it occurred when they both posted their 100 game milestones in the 2014 finals series.

Aaron Deckys moves into 10th all time boundary umpire (301 games) passing Matt Vitiritti (300).  Brett Rosebury moves into equal 8th all time field umpire equalling Ian Robinson’s 353 games.  



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