Congratulations to AFL goal umpire, Michael Palm who officiated in his 100th AFL game when he took to the MCG for the Carlton v Collingwood match on Saturday. Michael, who hails from SA came into AFL football via country Ballarat then the VFL and onto the AFL list in 2013. Michael umpired a SANFL grand final in 2005, a Ballarat grand final in 2006 before finding his way onto the VFL panel and a VFL grand final in 2012. The rest is history they say. Michael is the 370th VFL/AFL umpire to reach 100 games but only the 131st goal umpire to do it. Well done Michael.
An interesting observation was made by the Herald-Sun over the weekend. In one VFL game over the past few weeks the AFL have been trialing different configurations using four field umpires, one coming off the bench as the emergency at the end of each quarter with each umpire on field officiating in three of the four quarters. The AFL then trialed a field umpire rotation every 8-10 minutes of the game. Feedback from Mark Williams (Werribee coach) and Gary Ayres (Port Melbourne coach) seemed quite positive.
Fifteen of our past presidents and secretaries got together over lunch at the Emerald Hotel last week to relive some great highlights of the “golden era.” The group included 1972 president Doug Gilham who still remembers his trips to umpire our “outside country competitions” during their finals. Those competitions considered “outside” were country leagues who only used VFL umpires in their finals. Many of our older umpires remember them fondly because of the great characters they met in those small country leagues, many of which don’t exist today. Ex-Secretary and one of the AFLUA Hall of Fame Legends, Mark Turner was at his best questioning current President Brett Rosebury about the AFLUA’s relationship with the AFL today. Mark was Secretary between 1960 and the end of 1970. He is the longest serving Secretary in our association’s history.