Dan Field-Read became the 560th boundary umpire to umpire VFL/AFL football when he stepped onto Olympic Stadium on Saturday evening in the Sydney v Essendon game. James Scully became the 561st boundary umpire in the St.Kilda v GWS game at the Docklands on Sunday afternoon.
Ian Burrows umpired his 200th game in the season opener on Thursday night. Luke Walker also hit 200 in the easter Monday blockbuster Hawthorn v Geelong. Sam Hay umpired his 100th game in the same match.
Scott Jeffery who was injured at the back end of 2014 umpired his 300th game to qualify for AFL life membership in the Western Bulldogs v WCE match on Saturday night. To qualify for life membership the AFL combines, premiership matches and NAB Cup games. Scott umpired with Justin Schmitt who was presented with his AFL life membership at the AFL season opening in late March.
AFLUA executive member, Shane Thiele took daughter Mackenzie and his wife Claire to the Royal Children’s Hospital Appeal on Good Friday to present the appeal with a cheque for $5,620 on behalf of the AFLUA and the Jeff Crouch Foundation.
The round saw the first Fiona McBurney Match-day Experience participant, Lewis Beeby work very hard as an assistant trainer in the MCG clash between Melbourne and Gold Coast Suns. When Lewis was asked what the highlight of the day was he left no one in any doubt that it was meeting Gary Ablett in the rooms before the game. Lewis has a new found respect for the umpires and how hard they have to work. The AFL have continued to support the program by making available a signed football for every participant.
Travel has started early for some of our goal and boundary umpires this season. Canberra based, goal umpire Dale Puren umpired at the MCG for the first time. It was also the first time he had umpired with a non NSW/ACT umpire in Chelsea Roffey. “It was an awesome experience both on the “G” and having the opportunity to see other umpires prepare and review their performances was fantastic,” Dale said after the game. “You can’t help but learn in this environment.” Tasmanian based goal umpire Mark Ensbey umpired his first game at Sydney’s Olympic Stadium. Mark along with Melbourne based boundary, Drew Kowalski made the trip north into the Sydney rain.
Nick Liparota, was back on the AFL circuit after missing 2014. He ran the boundary in the Brisbane v Collingwood match at the “Gabba”