Round seven sees only one milestone being achieved but it is a good one! WA based boundary umpire Alan Zanich clocked up his 150th game when he took to the field in the Fremantle v. Collingwood game at Patersons Stadium on Saturday night.
Alan started his umpiring career in 1992 with the Sunday Football League in Perth. He officiated in his first AFL game in 2004. Alan has a number of finals to his credit but he credits 2010 AFL Preliminary Final as his best. Alan was injured over the pre-season and unfortunately took some time to recover. He now appears to be back to his best form and looking to add many more games to his tally.
Congratulations to rookie field umpires, Andrew Talbot (Vic.) and Justin Orr (WA) who were selected to umpire the WA v. VFL interstate game on the weekend. Long time WA stalwart, Stuart Parry was the third field umpire. In SA, another two rookie field umpires, Curtis Deboy (SA) and Andrew Stephens (Qld) officiated in the SA v. NEAFL state game. The third field umpire in that game was Michael Avon, who umpired 180 AFL games between 1997 and 2010. Rookie Leigh Haussen sat as the emergency umpire in the same game.
It appears that the SA boundary boys are back on the travel list with many of them travelling again to fill injury concerns in other states including Pat Tongue who has recommenced training after eye surgery. With Courtney Lai on the long term injury list and Sergio Vilagra ill, the goal umpires are clocking up games all around the country as well .
Field umpire Scott Jeffery passed his fitness test last week and umpired in the NEAFL in Sydney on the weekend before sitting on the bench as an emergency in the GWS v. Adelaide game yesterday. He is now ready for selection at AFL level after tearing a calf in the Carlton v. Collingwood match in round two. The other injured field umpire, Craig Fleer, is also ready to resume after a calf injury and also sat on the bench in the Port Adelaide v. Richmond match Saturday.
Some interesting points of a statistical nature to come out of last weekend’s round of matches. Michael Hammond who umpired his 100th game last week was the 123rd goal umpire to achieve that feat. While Luke Farmer who also officiated in his 100th game was the 78th field umpire to achieve that milestone.
When Pat Tongue umpired on ANZAC day in New Zealand he became only the 15th umpire in VFL/AFL history to have officiated in a match on every day of the week.