What do you say to a man who has been front and centre on our television screens for almost a quarter of a century and to be honest, just keeps on giving? His resilience is boundless. His energy and hunger for the contest is amazing. Only current umpire coach, Hayden Kennedy has umpired more games. Shane commenced his AFL career in 1994. Now aged 46, Shane’s 450 games comprise 26 finals and 2 grand finals. Congratulations Shane.
Dean Margetts succumbed to injury during the week and had to withdraw from his game this round. Dean has an inflamed Achilles. Troy Pannell went down with a recurrence of his hamstring injury early in the second quarter at Etihad stadium in the twilight game on Sunday. Troy was replaced by emergency umpire, Leigh Haussen who had already umpired a VFL game the day before.
To add to the injury list Craig Fleer was concussed following a head clash with Melbourne’s Bernie Vince. Craig left the field and was attended to by both competing teams club doctors. After reviewing the vision Craig was told his night was over. Emergency umpire Rowan Hundertmark came on but cramped badly after umpiring an SANFL senior game prior to sitting on the bench. Rowan was in some difficulty during the 3rd quarter even after being left in the end zone. He left the field at 3 quarter time. Veterans Chris Kamolins and Shaun Ryan were left to run out the last quarter in the two umpire system. While they were both very fatigued after the game they were pleased with their work in the second half.
The AFL might breath a sigh of relief with the current injury status of the list with only 8 games being played next week.
Chelsea Roffey was certainly in the thick of things early in the game in Shanghai and I don’t mean the smog. A flurry of legs and diving bodies scrambled for the ball on the Gold Coast Suns’ goal line before the goal crossed the scoring line. A score review came back “umpires call” that saw Michael Barlow awarded the first goal in an official fixture in China.
Congratulations to Brett Dalgleish on umpiring his 150th AFL game on Friday night. Brett has certainly gone from strength to strength in the past few years umpiring finals consistently as he consolidates his position as one of the best boundary umpires going around.
Likewise Dan Field-Read umpired his 50th AFL game in just his 3rd year on the list. Dan who umpires from Sydney made the finals panel last season in only his second year on the list. He is fast becoming one of the young up and comers on the panel and the first picked each week.
With GCS playing a home game in China it meant our Queensland based umpires got onto planes to travel around the country to umpire this weekend. Drew Kowalski went back to the MCG with Nick Wade,Shaun Apted and Alistair Meldrum sitting on the bench in the Essendon v Geelong game. Aaron Deckys and Peter Bock went to Etihad Stadium with St Kilda v Carlton. Gareth Hughes had the Richmond v Fremantle game. Spare a thought for Tristan Symes who had to travel to Launceston for Hawthorn v Brisbane. I’m wondering if he took his thermals with him?
It was good to see WA boundary umpire Ryan Kukura back for his first game of the season after recovering from injury.
Taking a quick look at the games totals of each of our current list we see in the goals Luke Walker (246) Chris Appleton (237) Chelsea Roffey (210) Daniel Wilson (208) and Steve Axon (192). On the boundary Mark Thomson (341) Rob Haala (295) Adam Coote (269) Ian Burrows (249) Nathan Doig (239). Shane McInerney (450) leaves Brett Rosebury (354) Justin Schmitt (334) Scott Jeffery (317) and Matt Stevic (313) in his wake.
We have some great experience on our lists which augurs well for mentoring the next crop of contributors.