Goal umpires feature prominently in this weeks milestones. Steve Williams and Dale Edwick reach their 100 AFL games and Steve Axon stood in his 150th game when Pt Adelaide played Sydney on Saturday night.
Goal umpire, Steve Piperno made his AFL debut in the North Melbourne v Brisbane match on Sunday. Steve was promoted after umpiring the 2014 VFL grand final. He becomes the 339th goal umpire to make his VFL/AFL debut.
Chris Kamolins made his return from a back injury in a VFL practice game on Sunday. Chris was injured in a training mishap 4 weeks ago.
While talking about injuries our umpires were not represented at the Stawell Easter Gift by perennial runner Adam Coote this year. You only had to think back to 2012 and Adam lined up in the final of the gift. This year he has been debilitated by a knee injury which saw him miss the whole athletic season and still unable to get onto the track to complete a main training session this pre-season. Chatting to Adam, he is hopeful to be back sooner rather than later.
Another Australian ranked runner and boundary umpire, Jace Collingridge is struggling with a back injury also and could be missing for some time. Jace has been unable to recover from a back injury he suffered in the later part of the 2014 season. He is currently consulting surgeons.
Our Fiona McMurney match day participant this week was Andrew Fisch Andrew, is a passionate Western Bulldogs fan loved his involvement and said in response to his day that he will remember and cherish the experience.
You may have noticed that our field umpires are running in teams again to start the 2015 season. This was tried early in 2014 with good success. Our younger umpires were thrown into Friday night and blockbuster games that add to their exposure and improvement as umpires.
Age journalist Jon Pierik made an interesting observation regarding the umpiring team of Shaun Ryan, Andrew Mitchell and David Harris in the first two rounds of the AFL season in the Sunday Age. “On paper it reads Ryan, Mitchell, Harris. If only they had a Johnson they could take the new ball for Australia.”