Michael Baker started boundary umpiring in Canberra in 2004 where he umpired his first final in 2005 and his first grand final in 2006. He then umpired the AFL Canberra Premier Division Grand Final and the Under 16 National Championships in 2007. Michael’s 2008/09 seasons were cut short due to illness / injury.
In 2010, Michael moved to Sydney and recommenced his boundary umpiring in 2011 and umpired the Under 18 Grand Final. He enjoyed further success with the NEAFL Grand Final in 2012 (then called the Cross-Conference Final) and the NEAFL Finals series in 2013 and 2014. Michael missed the 2015 Finals to get married before returning to his run with success to umpire in the 2016 NEAFL Grand Final in 2016.
A Primary School Teacher, Michael is ably supported his wife Marissa and their three young children – Alexandra, Joshua and Lilliana. Michael is motivated by his family and his desire to reach the peak of his own abilities.
Michael has cherished each of his grand finals as a ‘great day in which to participate’. He looks up to Michael Saunders as someone to aspire to. “Michael has reached the top, conducts himself professionally at all times and is always willing to give advice and help out.”
Michael has been fortunate to have had a number of influential people in his career who have coached and mentored him, in particular, Roger Broughton (Canberra), Stewart Eckermann, Sean Richardson and Angus Heritage (Sydney).
To upcoming umpires, Michael believes the only stupid question is the one that you don’t ask. “Listen to your coaches and follow their advice,” he advocates. “The only way you’ll find out whether or not it works for you is to try it out.”
Congratulations Michael on your appointment to the AFL Boundary List for season 2017!
Article written by: AFLUA Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Peter Kelly