A Marathon Effort on a Tennis Court

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A Marathon Effort on a Tennis Court

Life Member Russell “Rusty” Davidson

In normal times, Easter Monday was reserved for recovering from family gatherings, eating and drinking too much and plonking oneself in front of the TV for a footy game at the G.

In 2020, school holidays were different with many restrictions in place and families struggling with things to keep their children entertained.  Former VFL umpire and VFUA President Russell Davidson, with 3 children, set them a challenge.  Run a marathon which is a combination of 605 laps of the backyard tennis court in 2 weeks and he’d run a marathon himself.

Suffice to say they didn’t get anywhere near meeting the challenge, so Russell decided to do it himself on Easter Monday.

Had he prepared?  According to Rusty, “Ah no.”  He was planning to run the Melbourne Marathon in October so had been doing a bit of training but certainly nothing that had prepared him for a marathon.

He described the experience of running 605 laps of his tennis court as certainly different. “There wasn’t a lot of change in scenery.”  Rusty set off at 7am and had his kids there for the majority of the time, counting laps, playing loud tunes, running with him and shouting encouragement.

The toughest part was the constant twisting and turning.  Rusty admits his knees, back and hips took a pounding, “A regular run through the streets is generally in a straight line so you can build up a bit of momentum.  No such chance on the tennis court. A few strides and it’s time to turn again.”  He says mentally he was fine and that he changed direction every 50 laps and made sure he walked a lap every time he turned around.

Having no time pressures meant he could take as long as he liked. He was pretty determined so there was no way he wasn’t going to get it done!

Initially he pulled up pretty sore, particularly in the lower back and legs.  However, unlike other marathons he has run, he was back up and running a few days later and felt fine.

file-16This was Rusty’s fifth marathon.  He has run two Melbourne marathons with a PB of 2.50 in 2003, one in Sydney and one as part of the Australian Ironman in 2016.  He admits his backyard marathon was harder than any of his previous marathons although the pain he experienced in the ironman does compare.

He still has his ambitions set on running the Melbourne marathon in October this year, however he thinks it might fall victim to COVID-19 restrictions.  Otherwise, he will be busy umpiring in the APS/AGSV school boy competitions and coaching the VAFA Senior field umpires later this year.

Congratulations Rusty on a ‘marathon’ effort and we wish you continued success in your coaching and running endeavors in the year ahead.

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Bailing With Bailes

MemberProfile_Bailes_PPeter Bailes (#22) – VFL Senior Field Umpire

First started umpiring with?
Moorabbin Saints Junior Football League (now the SMJFL)
What made you take up umpiring?
For the cash money!
Career highs or lows?
Youngest to ever umpire a VAFA A grade grand final would be a high, low point would be not being able to see all my mates at training twice a week in 2020.
Most memorable umpiring moment
Sitting the bench for an AFL game
Most forgettable umpiring moment
Falling on my ass after backing out from a ball up at Windy Hill
Most influential coach/mentor in umpiring?
Tony Hales
Best advice given to you early on in your career?
Listen to every bit of advice given to you, then choose what you do with it.
Most influential fellow umpiring peer?
Andrew Heffernan and Dan Butcher
What do you like most about being an umpire?
Having a locker next to Jack Edwards at training
What can you not go without doing on match day?
After crossing the centre circle, I take 3 steps and my 3rd step (always the left foot) I blow my whistle to test if it’s working
Favourite sport besides footy?
Basketball or golf
What’s your best sporting experience outside of footy?
Leading the scoring title in the Sandringham Basketball Association’s men’s C grade Tuesday night basketball
What are the benefits of being a VFUA member?
I don’t have enough time to write them.
The constant communication from the senior field track rep, the support he gives the group and the way he delivers information is probably top of the list
What’s your occupation/day-job?
Science and maths teacher at Brighton Secondary College
Favourite food?
My aunty Karen’s spaghetti with meatballs and sauce. She’s Italian so that’s a given
Favourite movie?
Avengers. All of them.
Favourite artist/band?
Harry Styles right up there. Post Malone and Fall Out Boy close second.
3 people you’d like to have dinner with
Kim Jong-Un, Donald Trump and Boris Johnson
Favourite holiday destination
Victoria Park
Most admired person, why?
Matt Mahoney, because there’s nothing the man can’t do.

Eager to know Steger?

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Adam Steger – Development Goal Umpire

First started umpiring with?
WRFL in 2012
What made you take up umpiring?
To stay involved with football after I quit playing. Also good way to earn some pocket money!
Career highs or lows?
Career high would have to be umpiring my first AFLW game this year! Career low would be getting my dates mixed up and not turning up to a game.
Most memorable umpiring moment
First Division 1 SNR GF at the WRFL. First time I had umpired in front of a decent sized crowd!
Most forgettable umpiring moment
Probably rocking up to a game with dirty boots.
Most influential coach/mentor in umpiring?
Paul Battaglia from the WRFL, with over 400 DIV 1 SNR games, he took me under his wing and showed me how to improve to get me to where I am today.
Best advice given to you early on in your career?
Be a sponge. Absorb any advice anyone gives you.
Most influential fellow umpiring peer?
Not sure, everyone is influential in their own way.
What do you like most about being an umpire?
Having a front row seat
Favourite sport besides footy?
Tough. Either Motorsport (F1 & Supercars) or Cricket!
What’s your best sporting experience outside of footy?
Winning a Cricket Senior Grand Final.
Favourite food?
Comfortably a Parma
Favourite movie?
Rush
Favourite artist/band?
Morgan Wallen or Kygo
3 people you’d like to have dinner with
Razor Ray, Steve Smith, Daniel Ricciardo
Favourite holiday destination
Queensland, love going up there to see family

2020 Virtual Mini Olympics Launched

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2020 Paul Anderson Memorial “Virtual” Mini-Olympics

4th May 2020

The time has come for us to officially launch the 2020 Mini Olympics.
Due to the current circumstances, we will be doing things differently & conducting this years’ events virtually.

Support our Victorian umpires, watch them battle it out for the Paul Anderson Memorial Shield & donate to a great cause – Cancer Council Victoria.

• Events begin 4th May, winning squads will be posted after each event is completed over the next 5 weeks.
• To register your donation visit our GoFundMe page http://gf.me/u/xyx6r7
• To read more about the Paul Anderson Memorial Shield visit http://vfua.net/?page_id=70

GET ON BOARD! 🏆🏆

 

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Hangin’ out with Sticks

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Nick Phillips – VFL Senior Boundary Umpire

First started umpiring with?
Northern football league
What made you take up umpiring?
Was pretty shit at footy but still wanted to be involved
Most memorable umpiring moment
Umpiring in front of 53,000 at Adelaide oval for AFLW grand final
Most forgettable umpiring moment
There’s a few of them, Beach road is one
Most influential coach/mentor in umpiring?
Vittas or Fozzy
Best advice given to you early on in your career?
Being the best umpire isn’t just about how good you are at running
Most influential fellow umpiring peer?
The goat (Kieran Ferguson)
What do you like most about being an umpire?
Getting to be involved in football without getting smashed playing
What can you not go without doing on match day?
Coffee, bacon and eggs. My list is kind of long
Favourite sport besides footy?
Cricket
What’s your best sporting experience outside of footy?
Running at nationals on the track
What are the benefits of being a VFUA member?
Going to the VFUA Ball
What’s your occupation/day-job?
At the moment student but will be a teacher
Favourite food?
Maccas chicken nuggets
Favourite movie?
The lion king
Favourite artist/band?
Hilltop hoods
3 people you’d like to have dinner with
Nelson Mandela
Michael Jordan
Israel Adesanya
Favourite holiday destination
The Gulag
Most admired person, why?
Mo Farah because he has a professional mindset and he continues to develop and work hard.

Sale away with Floydy

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Lachlan Floyd – Senior Development Field Umpire

Lachlan Floyd (Floydy) is one of the most selfless people I know. You will discover reasons for this throughout the profile below, but to just give you some context, before we had this chat Floydy had finished recording a podcast called “Blokes Don’t Talk”, a podcast about men’s mental health in which he was a guest. Give his disability services business “Ohana Services” a follow on Facebook, there is a lot of heart-warming content.

First started umpiring with?
Sale umpires association. Started in 2007 as a boundary for two years, and was close to quitting. One day, however, I got the call up to do the field as the field umpire hadn’t shown up. I must have done a good job because the next week I was called up to the seniors, and my umpiring journey went from there.
What made you take up umpiring?
All my mates from school were taking it up and I wanted money.
As an aside: Floydy played interleague football himself in U/16s and U/18s. He earned an automatic invitation to trial for NAB League club Gippsland Power however declined as he enjoyed umpiring more. He played with Shannen Lange (Port Melbourne VFL) and Will Hams (Essendon AFL).
Career high?
Career high was making the list in 2017.
Most memorable umpiring moment
Umpiring on the MCG.
Most forgettable umpiring moment
First year VFLW game at Casey, I backed out, hit a player and totally stacked on my arse.
Most influential coach/mentor in umpiring?
Ken Wagner and Nick Cullis. Started with them doing green-shirt program.
Best advice given to you early on in your career?
‘Blow it loud and strong’
Most influential fellow umpiring peer?
I can’t limit it to one. First off is Nick Cullis who started with me. Next is Brayden Hunter who constantly calls me to have a chat on the long drives home to Sale, he is always asking how I’m going (interviewer note: bit of a bromance going on here). Finally Matt Mahoney for his leadership amongst the development field umpire group.
What do you like most about being an umpire?
Challenges. Training, coaching and game-day. I love that nothing is easy.
What can you not go without doing on match day?
For those who are not aware, Floydy lives in Sale, which is at least a 3 hour drive from our Vic Park home base. To give you can idea of his routine for getting to training every Tuesday and Thursday night from January through to September:
Always packs his bag the night before.
Midday: Finish work. Come home, grab bag, get changed and scoff something down to eat quickly.
1:00: Leave Sale for the drive to training.
4:00: Arrive at Vic Park. Either have a nap or go for a quick walk. Always try to be the first person in the door when it opens at 4:45.
Getting home: Floydy normally gets home at around 11:00, which includes a stop off at Officer to get something to eat and some coffee to keep awake.
GAME DAY:
I always have to get there two hours before, first thing I do is change into the AFL tracksuit pants. Then I tape my whistle onto two fingers, put footy boots on, and get out there for a warm up. I never do a warm up without my footy boots on and whistle taped to fingers.
Favourite sport besides footy?
Split between cricket and boxing.
What’s your best sporting experience outside of footy?
Travelling to England to play cricket for 6 months when I was 19. Played in the 1st XI at Prestbury Cricket Club in the Cheshire League. I opened the bowling, and I also told them I could bat as well as all year I batted at 3 or 4. In Australia I rarely bat in the top 6!
What’s your occupation/day-job?
Business Owner of Ohana Services (give us a follow on Facebook).
This is a service for people living with disabilities to help them achieve their goals in life.
I started Ohana Services in 2018 after working for a similar disability services organisation, and deciding that I wanted to create more opportunity for people with disabilities and give them a choice.
Favourite food?
“Is Great Northern a food”.
In all seriousness my favourite food is capsicum.
Favourite movie?
The Hangover
3 people you’d like to have dinner with
Donald Trump, Xi Jinping and Conor McGregor. Would be good also to have Kane Cornes and Tex Walker as the wait staff.
Favourite holiday destination
Airley Beach, Queensland. Especially with Sam Ferguson and Brayden Hunter (spud).

Lets go for a whizz with the Riz

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VFL Senior Goal Umpire – James Rizio

First started umpiring with?
Eastern Football League (EFL) 2016
What made you take up umpiring?
Being able to have the best seat in the house, the money on the side helps too!
Career highs or lows?
High: Umpiring at Port Melbourne in September, loved every minute of it
Low: Bird flap in VFLW Prelim 2018 (My only one too…)
Most memorable umpiring moment
Umpiring the International Cup 2017 Grand Final on the MCG with Frank Dicosmo
Most forgettable umpiring moment
Getting hit in the you know whats (wasn’t a warm day either)
Most influential coach/mentor in umpiring?
David Dixon (No surprise)
Best advice given to you early on in your career?
It’s important to umpire with enjoyment, don’t be too hard on yourself
Most influential fellow umpiring peer?
Thinking Simon Plumridge but then he ditched us to go to AFL, no biggie….
What do you like most about being an umpire?
Being part of a really high standard of footy, seeing it first hand
What can you not go without doing on match day?
Ironing flags the night before is key, whilst on match day always changing into on field gear with 30 minutes to walk
Favourite sport besides footy?
Cricket
What’s your best sporting experience outside of footy?
Touring the UK for cricket in 2015, 2017
What’s your occupation/day-job?
Freelance Graphic Designer also during cricket season I do curating
Favourite food?
Pasta as its very versatile, a Parma is a close second
Favourite movie?
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Favourite artist/band?
Oasis
3 people you’d like to have dinner with
Chris Appleton, David Dixon, Brad Letson (I just loved goal umpiring)
Favourite holiday destination
Perth (very underrated city)
Most admired person, why?
Tie between Mum and Dad, can’t decide. Always when I leave home for a game I hear “Do your best and have fun”.

How well do we know Brayden?

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Brayden Hunter – Senior Development Field Umpire

First started umpiring with?

SUA – started off with the U/18’s as a boundary umpire. Did two years of boundary umpiring and decided it was too much running, so switched to the field.

What made you take up umpiring?

Playing U/13’s footy, and started to realise I was no good. My coach at the time was an umpire, told me to come down, and it went from there. Bit of extra money also helped.

Most memorable umpiring moment

Round 12 2019 – VFL seniors debut. Coburg vs Casey. Loved how the Coburg supporters were all leaning over the fence giving me some “advice”, back to what it was like at local league. Very different to an U/18’s game where the crowd consists almost solely of parents. It was a good game all day, also remember that the whole ground was covered in almost ankle-deep mud.

Most forgettable umpiring moment

This came two games later, tripped over my own feet on the wing at Frankston, and the crowd were having a lovely time reminding me about it. The crowd was already pretty excited, being a Frankston vs Coburg game.

Most influential coach/mentor in umpiring?

Peter Marshall. He wasn’t scared to give you blunt and honest feed-back, but on the flip-side, he was the first to give you a pat on the back when you did something well. Really made me believe in myself, particularly as a younger umpire.

Best advice given to you early on in your career?

Peter Marshall – “control the controllables”

Most influential fellow umpiring peer?

This is a tough one because there are so many. But I will settle on Lachlan Floyd. This bloke travels 3 hours to and from training every Tuesday and Thursday night coming from Sale, his commitment is second to none. Additionally, he is the life of the room and creates the best culture I have seen.

What do you like most about being an umpire?

The team environment. Being out there in the moment, best seat in the house.

What can you not go without doing on match day?

Pre-game coffee, 2.5 hours before the game. It has to be done.

Favourite sport besides footy?

Cricket

What’s your best sporting experience outside of footy?

2 junior cricket grand finals. I also didn’t mind throwing down some left-arm chinamans in the 4’s at Casey South Melbourne.

What’s your occupation/day-job?

Diesel mechanic at the CFA, which involves repairing and maintaining fire trucks across Victoria. I’ve travelled to NSW and East Gippsland in the peak bushfire seasons, it’s hard yakka but rewarding.

Favourite food?

A good roast, ideally roast lamb and veggies. Also don’t mind a lasagne.

Favourite movie?

I can’t remember the last movie I watched, I usually fall asleep.

Most admired person, why?

My Grandma. She had a stroke almost 20 years ago, and has lived 20 years without movement of the right side of the body. Despite all this, I’ve never heard her complain, and it’s this gritty determination that I really admire.

Lets Get To Know Painy

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Liam Pain – VFL Senior Boundary Umpire

First started umpiring with?
Sunraysia football association
What made you take up umpiring?
My U16s footy coach didn’t put anyone on the field that wasn’t his son or his son’s friends. So I decided to get some money and get on the field
What were your career highs or lows?
Highs- last year, umpiring senior finals
Lows- having a recall in the senior semis
Most memorable umpiring moment
Umpiring the last home and away game of season. In my second year the top 2 sides in Sunraysia were playing, winner won the minor premiership and it was between another boundary and I to get number 1. We ran 20km that day and walked off the ground wrecked.
Most forgettable umpiring moment
My grand final after party performance last year
Most influential coach/mentor in umpiring?
My U18’s footy coach, Patrick Irwin
Best advice given to you early on in your career?
Don’t stuff up,
Most influential fellow umpiring peer?
William O’Connor, an umpire back home that couldn’t run 400m without stopping when he started. In his 3rd of umpiring year he got the senior gf.
What do you like most about being an umpire?
The team environment
What can you not go without doing on match day? (pre game routine, superstitions or rituals?)
Listening to Chisel on the way to the game
Favourite sport besides footy?
Cricket
What’s your best sporting experience outside of footy?
Debuting in the seniors in cricket in the gf (I was 12th man, because I was good in the field, but it still counts)
What are the benefits of being a VFUA member?
Social functions, professional representation and cheap stuff from the partners (eg Nike)
What’s your occupation/day-job?
Student, I’m in my final semester of PE/maths secondary teaching
Favourite food?
Free food
Favourite movie?
The Dark Knight
Favourite artist/band?
Cold Chisel
Favourite holiday destination Murray river, back in Mildura
Most admired person, why?
The old man because he had to put up with a house full of pain for 18 years, while still providing for us.

 

2019 Award Winners Announced at AGM

At the 2019 VFUA AGM the award winners for 2019 were announced

coreyThe association’s highest award, life membership was voted on and Nick Brown, Simon Plumridge, Andrew Leggo and Dean Jones were successful.

The Best First Year Umpire Awards had been presented at the VFUA Ball in September: Shamus Dundon (F), Corey Malcolm (B) and Thomas Gath (G) were the nominees for the The Frank Leverett Shield. Awarded to the best overall first year umpire, Corey Malcolm was selected to receive the FLS for 2019

Most Improved for each of the senior squads were as follows:

Field – Luke Porter
Boundary – Matt Crowley
Goal – James Rizio

Congratulations to all.

Pic: @PicsByRossM