Cameron Dore debuted on Sunday at the Carlton v North Melbourne clash at Marvel Stadium. Cameron received Heritage number 444 some 32 years after his father Gavin (Heritage number 308). 

Cameron was a very good footballer in his own right coming through the ranks of the Vermont Football Club in the Eastern Districts Football League.  His journey into umpiring was only by chance, albeit one he had an interest in, as he grew up following his father’s career.

Cameron was very glad it was a 1.10pm game because in his words, “I was able to get it over with and not stew on it all day.”  Cameron went on to say that he would’ve been very happy to have a 250-game career with Vermont but was also very excited and proud to be selected in the AFL umpire ranks.  Congratulations Cameron.

Boundary umpire Chris Esler continues to grow into his career on the back of a final last season, Chris brought up his 150th game on Friday night in the Collingwood v Pt Adelaide game.

It’s good to see field umpire Curtis Deboy make his senior comeback in the SANFL on the weekend.  Curtis has not umpired since post season surgery last year turned a little more complicated.

Two of our senior boundary umpires made the Sunday night news.  Unfortunately for Michael Marantelli, he was relegated to second place in the Puffing Billy race when it was determined he ran the wrong way after coming in first.  It was a great effort anyway considering Michael was competing after umpiring in the Western Bulldogs v Richmond game on Saturday night.  Evergreen, Shane Thiele did take out first place in the over 40 age category, backing up after the Melbourne v Hawthorn game at the MCG on Saturday afternoon.

It’s good to see our WA boys still have a strong connection.  Jeff Dalgleish, Dean Margetts, Nathan Williamson and Justin Power were seen having breakfast Saturday morning at a little coffee shop in Jolimont. Jeff and Dean were in Melbourne for umpiring duties on the weekend.

AFLUA life member and former grand final umpire, Peter Nastasi just can’t get footy out of his blood.  Always the fitness fanatic, Peter is now field umpiring in the WRFL.  “I am enjoying my time giving a little back to the game and field umpiring is something new and challenging,” said Peter when we were chatting with him recently.

It was great to see our community umpires get a firsthand look at what is involved in umpiring at the highest level.  Four umpires from community groups across the country walked out in front of our appointed umpires at each AFL venue on the weekend.  Let’s hope their experiences over the weekend spur their interest in umpiring and they continue along the pathway.  They were certainly fresh faced and smiling as they walked onto AFL grounds.

The Mates Program is about to be launched for its 15th year.  The program puts a number of young community umpires with AFL field umpires acting as their mentors during the season.  Two current AFL field umpires participated in the programs. 

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