Field umpire Shane Stewart achieved his 100 game milestone in the Richmond v. Fremantle match on Sunday. Shane began his umpiring career in Tasmania in the Southern Tasmanian Football League umpiring his first VFL game as a 16 year old which, by today’s standards, is very young indeed. Shane followed his father, Wade into umpiring. Wade was a Statewide League goal umpire and upgraded into the VFL when Tasmania had a team in that competition.
Shane had a tough decision to make. As a 15 year old he was playing premier cricket and in the Tasmanian second eleven cricket team as an opening bowler. Looking for a prolonged career in sport he made the decision to follow his footy dreams because of the injury rate of fast bowlers.
Shane umpired the 2006 and 2007 VFL grand finals and was appointed to the AFL list in 2008. Shane believes moving to Melbourne in 2009 to pursue his umpiring career was the best move he has made. Shane umpired the 2013 NAB Cup Grand Final.
Shane listed Michael Brown and Michael Kelly from Tasmania as the biggest influences on his junior career.
Field umpire Ray Chamberlain has definitely had his share of bad luck as news filters out that he will miss the remainder of 2013 with a broken knee cap. Ray received the news earlier in the week and is now hoping surgery won’t be required as he begins his rehabilitation. Craig Fleer is also sidelined by injury for the second successive week after a minor calf strain during warm ups at training last week.
Pictured: 100 gamer – Shane Stewart