Goal umpire Shaun Apted started goal umpiring for his father’s super rules team when he was just eleven years old and loved it. As a young fella he played footy on the Gold Coast for Southport juniors until he developed shin splints. Looking for something else so he could continue his involvement in sport he went back to goal umpiring and worked his way through the ranks.
Fifty games is truly a milestone for our interstate colleagues. When Shaun started in the AFL in 2009 there was just one team in Brisbane. In his first three years on the list he notched up just 17 games. It was only when the Suns entered the competition and there were games in Queensland each week did he gain more confidence and got a run of games.
Shaun would travel up and down the freeway to Brisbane with Troy Mavroudis on training nights and game days. They forged a very close friendship and Shaun rates Troy as one of his great mentors. “We both started in the Gold Coast juniors and worked our way through the ranks.” Shaun spent four years in that competition before being promoted to the QAFL. He umpired the ’08 and ’10 senior QAFL grand finals.
Shaun rates the Lions v WCE game last year as his best. The lions came back from a long way down and won with seconds to spare. “I had a number of close decisions and remained composed all the while both teams fought it out,” reflected Shaun.
A goal umpire’s greatest attributes are concentration and the ability to read the play. Shaun believes he is getting fitter each pre-season which will stand him in good stead and recognises he still has improvement to make. “My general level of fitness must improve and I am starting to train smarter. My consistency from week to week is starting to improve and that is critical among such a good group of goal umpires.”
Congratulations on your first 50 games Shaun.