Photo courtesy of – Mozzed Photography
There is no doubt that Simon must have harboured feelings about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. With little movement on the AFL Goal Umpires’ list, he must have felt that despite umpiring four VFL grand finals in five years, he might just be one of those unlucky ones.
However, that all changed in October when Simon was promoted to the AFL list. His umpiring career and achievements speak for themselves:
2006-2010 Eastern Football League
2009 Eastern Football League Division 1 Grand Final
2011-2019 Victorian Football League
2011 Best First Year Goal Umpire award
2014 TAC Cup Grand Final, Most Improved Goal Umpire
2015 VFL Grand Final, Goal Umpire of the Year
2016 State Game – South Australia v Victoria
2017 VFL Grand Final
2018 U18 National Championships, VFL Grand Final, Goal Umpire of the Year
2019 AFLW Umpire, 150th VFL match, VFL Grand Final
All in all, Simon umpired 151 VFL games which puts him 21ston the all-time list and 9thfor goal umpires; a record 22 finals and 4 VFL grand finals – also a record – with five state-level grand finals in the last six seasons.
Simon has taken advantage of the opportunity of umpiring in Victoria. He believes the coaching group at the VFL is fantastic and the relationship the VFL group has with the AFL has been getting stronger each year. He loves the opportunity of training with and learning from the AFL umpiring group. He admits the Victoria Park facilities are fantastic too.
With such a list of achievements, it’s little wonder that Simon had to think hard about his career highlight to date – the 2016 State Game at Adelaide Oval. Very close behind are the grand finals he’s done which have been highlights for different reasons.
But it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for Simon. In 2016, Simon encountered a serious injury rupturing his ACL. Despite his personal disappointment, Simon continued to attend training on crutches, taking part in what he could and generally being his supportive self.
Simon is motivated by his family and friends, and by continually improving himself by trying to get the best out of himself.
Simon attended Vermont Secondary College and is currently working as a Physical Education teacher. He enjoys spending time with family and friends, watching sport (especially NBA/NFL), and reading. Something nobody knows is Simon can solve a Rubik’s Cube in about two minutes.
We wish Simon all the best and know the wait will be worth it. All the best Simon for the year ahead.
Article written by: AFLUA Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Peter Kelly