Around The Disciplines: April

What a competitive start to the SANFL season we’re seeing amongst the footy clubs. And it’s certainly no different in the Umpiring ranks. All disciplines have had a solid pre-season, settling into our new home at Pulteney.

We’ve begun the year with a few Milestones. The Field Umpires have seen debutant Tom Bryce umpire his first League Match in Round 1 and has looked comfortable with each performance. The Boundary Umpires have had a couple of Milestones as well with Dylan Speck making his debut at SANFL League Level in Round 1 whilst Damian Robinson umpired his 100th League Match and Matt Herrmann officiated in his 50th League Match. In the goals, Mathew Wilson and Tom Sharpe have both racked up 100 League Matches whilst the ever-different Daniel Hoskin took his AFL Games tally to 100.

Damian Robinson warming up before his 100th SANFL League Match

The Boundary Umpires are a touch short on numbers after a few retirements and a couple of injuries to start the season. Round 4 saw a couple of umpires doubling up – which was possible due to the round being spread over 5 days thanks to ANZAC Round.

It’s fantastic to see a few new faces from the Boundary ranks join up as members of SANFLUA for season 2018. Your support is appreciated and certainly allows us to build a solid membership base.

Our always in control Field Umpires have made an impressive start to the year. So much so, that Tom Burke tried his hand at Goal Umpiring in Round 1. After Tom Fahey felt ill in the Reserves at Elizabeth Oval, Tom Burke happily donned the Goalies Uniform for half a quarter before one of the League Goal Umpires took over. The Goal Umpires Observer was impressed with Tom’s short, but sweet debut between the sticks.

Tom Burke doing what he finds more comfortable than Goal Umpiring

It’s also great to see our SA Ex-pats make solid starts to the AFL Season in the field. Curtis DeBoy, Craig Fleer, Sam Hay and Leigh Haussen have all been regular runners in the opening rounds. So to have Boundary Umpire Shane Thiele and Goal Umpire Brodie Kenny-Bell. We’re always watching and supporting back here in SA.

Our goal umpires have made a great start to season 2018. They’ve added 3 umpires to the senior ranks this year – Michael Bruno, Liam McDonald and Trent O’Driscoll. More regular senior footy will hopefully see some League Debut’s.

Allannah Bruno and Liam McDonald during a Reserves Match 

Goal Umpire Braden Ford was forced to withdraw from Round 1 after becoming seriously ill. Braden ended up coming down with a case of salmonella (food poisoning). It wasn’t an ideal situation for Braden as rumour has it he lost 6kg. It’s great to see him back in the goals.

Trainer Alexander Gill enjoyed a couple of weeks involved in the Commonwealth Games up on the Gold Coast. If his Instagram is anything to go by, it looks like he had a great time. Our umpires are happy to have him back.

Trainers Nicole Noble and Alexander Gill

For those that were watching the Port/Geelong clash at Adelaide Oval in AFL Round 5, you would have noticed another of our Trainers, Mayley Harris make an appearance on the coverage. Being front and centre for ‘that’ Lindsay Thomas bump, her reaction certainly showed what she thought of it. Ouch!

It’s great to have footy back. For all the latest news and information on SANFLUA and its umpires, follow us on our social media platforms or check us out on our website.

Matthew Cummins