Congratulations to Simon Blight, who has been elevated to the 2022 AFL Boundary Umpires’ List.
With 27 career AFLW matches and 94 VFL matches to his name, Simon further umpired at two AFLW Grand Finals (2021 and 2022) and the 2018 VFL Grand Final.
Now comes another significant moment in his umpiring journey, with the inclusion in the AFL Boundary Umpiring panel.
Reflecting on his latest career milestone, Simon said, “I was relieved when I got the news. The selection process was very long and draining mentally. So, to find out I got a spot, was a massive weight off my shoulders. It feels like it’s a reward for the hours and hours of work that I’ve put in, to be given a fantastic opportunity.”
Simon commenced footy umpiring with Geelong Umpires in 2011 and has consistently gone from strength to strength, bringing up the AFLW/VFL Grand Final appearances. He was also awarded the Most Outstanding Boundary Umpire at Geelong (2013) and the Most Outstanding Boundary Umpire at VFL (2021).
Sharing the experience of officiating in some high-profile matches, Simon said, “Big games are always nerve-racking. But once the game starts and your nerves settle, soaking up the atmosphere and being a part of the culmination of an entire season is amazing.”
He has developed his matchday routine accordingly. “I try to stay as relaxed as possible,” he said. “So, aside from all of the essential things like eating properly, staying hydrated and doing a proper warm-up, I like to try and have a laugh with the other umpires.”
Outside of umpiring, Simon is a mechanical engineer, and likes to go for a ride on his mountain bike when he has some free time.
As his best umpiring memory, he counts John Cooper’s 150th game at Port Melbourne, with Leigh Buwalda as the other Boundary Umpire. “Good game, great day at a great venue, with some unreal blokes,” Simon recalled.
And the best umpiring advice he’s received? “Umpire for the enjoyment and because it’s what you want to do. Don’t umpire to prove something or because you feel like you have to,” said Simon.
Well done, Simon, on your achievement. We wish you the very best for the season ahead.
Featured image – Simon Blight during the 2022 AFLW Grand Final match between Adelaide Crows and Melbourne Demons at Adelaide Oval on April 09, 2022 (Adelaide, Australia). (Photo by Sarah Reed/AFL Photos)