A few months back I made a few discrete enquiries as to the health and fitness of some of our veteran umpires when I was formulating a plan for selecting umpires to officiate in the 2019 version of the EJ Whitten match.
Justin Schmitt (calf), Scott Jeffery (back), Troy Pannell (coaching a WRFL under 18 team in finals), all had excuses. So where to next? Stuart Wenn a veteran of 341 AFL games has been in the gym lately and telling everyone who will listen what good shape he is in, was my next obvious go to man. “I’ll get back to you,” was his response. Jason Armstrong however, was as reliable now as he was during his 127 games responded immediately, I’ll be there. Needing a third and running out of options, I put in a call to Calcutta. Former AFL umpire, Chris Kamolins (207 games) answered my call and has even shortened his holidays to officiate in the game. Never sure of what his fitness regime may have been while he lived and worked in India over the past 18 months I decided to pick the fittest veteran goal umpires I know who could certainly take to the field if required. David Dixon (356 games) and Luke Walker (261 games) filled the brief to a tee.
Stuart got back to me with a contract that I shredded on sight and we have out team for the Red Energy E. J. Whitten Legends Game for 2019
Field: Stuart Wenn, Chris Kamolins and Jason Armstrong
Goal: David Dixon and Luke Walker
Let the game begin.