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

David Flegg AM Receives His Gong

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Government House, Friday 23 September 2019

Former VFL/AFL Goal Umpire, AFLUA Historian & VFUA Statistician David Flegg was presented with an Australian Medal for his services to umpiring by the Hon. Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria at Government House on Friday 20 September 2019.

David’s contribution to the Australian Football League Umpires’ Association (AFLUA), Victorian Football Umpires’ Association (VFUA) and umpiring for 37 years has been profound. Most of his work off-field has been done in an honorary or voluntary capacity – he has donated years of his life to both Associations.  He has done this whilst maintaining full-time employment as a research librarian with a number of government organisations.

But it is not the accumulation of records and researching and recording the history of umpiring that makes David a special person.  It is his passion and genuine care and interest in the tradition and history of umpiring as well as in umpiring and umpires.  He is a mentor to young umpires, a genuine role model to current umpires and respected amongst the umpiring fraternity as one of the all-time contributors to umpiring in Australia.

As can be seen from the umpires’ association positions held and his achievements, David’s contribution to the AFLUA and VFUA and indeed AFL and VFL umpiring in general, has been truly outstanding. A summary of David’s voluntary positions can be viewed by clicking here

On behalf of the VFUA, congratulations David on this great honour in recognition of your valuable contribution over so many years.  May it continue for many years to come.

 

Mr Nice Guy Notches up 150

Simon Plumridge (G) 150 VFL matches

14 September 2019,  Richmond v. Port Melbourne (Port Melbourne)

Simon joined the VFL in 2011 from the Eastern Football League. From the outset, Simon was a very promising umpiring and this was reiterated by winning the Leigh Keen coaches award in his first year. After one year on the development list Simon quickly progressed to the senior list and has had an incredible career since.

Simon’s stats whilst at the VFL:

  • 150 VFL Games (20 Finals), 16 VFL reserves, 20 TAC Boys
    2015, 2017 & 2018 VFL Grand Finals
    2014 TAC Grand Final
    2014 Most improved senior goal umpire
    2015 & 2018 Umpire of the year
    2016 State Game
    2018 National U18 Championship umpire

Simon is described by his colleagues as determined, humble, hard working, quiet achiever, no fuss and committed umpire. It has not been all highs and smooth sailing for Simon. His 2016 season started well with his appointment to the state match, but that turned out to be his last game for the year. Simon ruptured his ACL the week after and had to undergo surgery, ending his season. Despite his crippling injury and disappointment, Simon continued attending training and coached skills sessions to support his fellow goal umpires. Simon wasn’t able to run again until the end of 2016, and had only a few months to get his fitness and confidence back before the 2017 season. But he did just that and was back umpiring senior footy in Round 3.

Simon notched up his 150th VFL game in style umpiring the preliminary final between Richmond and Port Melbourne. When it comes to finals, Simon is one of the most experienced finals umpires. His game on the week was his 20thVFL final putting him 2ndoverall for most finals by an umpire within the VFL. The good news continued for Simon this week being appointed to his 4thVFL grand final on Sunday between Richmond and Williamstown. After this weekend Simon will join Peter Balding on top of the leader board with 21 VFL finals.

Congratulation Simon on the massive achievement!

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2019 Grand Final Umpires Announced

The 2019 State League – Victoria – Grand Final Umpire Appointments were announced on Tuesday 17th September at Victoria Park.

Full match appointments and details can be viewed here – 2019 GF Panels

The VFUA congratulates all umpires who have been appointed & wishes them the best for the weekend.

Also, huge congratulations to the VFL Umpires of the Year:

  • Field – Martin Rodger
  • Boundary – Sam Stagg
  • Goal – Callum Leonard

2019 Umpires of the Year

Double Trouble: 100 for Goat & Wilke

This weekend sees two Boundary Umpires reach milestone games – Kieran Ferguson & Luke Wilke will both carve up 100 VFL games at Williamstown on Sunday 18th August 2019.

Fellow boundary line runner Stickz celebrates their achievements with a candid look back on their journeys towards their tons.


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GOAT (Kieran Ferguson)

Some may know him as Kieran, others by Ferg and a select few call him Goat (and they know why) but all we know is that he is a beautiful athlete, or so Johnny summers says.

I’ve had the pleasure of being around since day 1 with Goat since he started at the VFL, back then he was a very quiet character that just went about his business. Over the years he has become a very vocal and respected leader among the boundary group. He’s had to deal with a lot of crap over the years from putting up with me to Dineen telling him to shut up when he spoke, but as the great man he is, he copped it on the chin and got on with business.

Over the years Goat has flow under the radar never seeming to find himself in a stupid situation. Over the many years he has had some great accomplishments:

  • He’s umpired 3 grand finals at state league level, 1 reserves, 1 TAC cup and 1 senior grand final, then the start of the year the AFLW grand final.
  • Then Taking the boys to some good restaurants for dinner, as well as some Questionable ones “the Sandwich place”, since this dreadful place he isn’t allowed to pick dinners spots.
  • He got his face in the local paper and a radio interview back at his home town.

But all of these things come down to 2 things, the first one as many of you know is that there is one place that Goat can be found and that is his love for being on the table, every training session and game day you can find him getting a rub. The other is something more interesting and that is the fact that since day one at the VFL he has had the same pair of shoes, he loves his nimbus’s.

I just want to personally thank him for all the hard work he has put in over the years working with myself and others. I can speak for everyone when I say that he is a pleasure to be around and even more of a pleasure to watch on the game day.

Good luck for your 100thmate, all the best for the game and the rest of the season, keep putting your best foot forward, like the boys know you will.

Good luck, Stickz

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Silky (Luke Wilke)

Arghh Wilke where do I start with you, from your massive nights out, to getting lost on the wing at Werribee, you’ve got a lot of stories that could be told but lots that shouldn’t.

Wilke and I started together but didn’t really get to know each other till last year, but damn over the last two years we have had loads of good times. Through these good times we have learnt a lot about you, first off that you are the most expensive light bulb changer, $600 a light, really mate? No wonder you shout us dinner.

Even though you are always out, you have a really good relationship with your family. Some of you will know this but Wilke’s mum is a local boundary umpire coach, so it’s no surprise that she comes to some of his games but she actually comes to them all and she packs his bag for every game. WILKE you are 24 pack your own damn bag. Then there is the time you forgot your bag to a game and of course who came to your rescue of course your wonderful mother and sister.

There has become a bit of a saying between the boys, that it’s time to do Wilke basically this is just someone not doing the full session, Wilke spends half of training on the toilet and the other half on the table, so if you ever need to speak to him you’ll probably find him there.

Among all the interesting behaviours of Wilke, he is one of the best blokes at training, always up for a laugh at training whether it’s at his expense or someone else’s, he’s just as good on the track as he is off the track. He’s umpired at 4 grand finals in a row completing 2 development grand finals and 2 TAC cup grand finals, this is a testament to his abilities on and off the field, then to being appointed as co-captain with Staggy, whether that was a good decision or is up for debate.

Either way mate just want to say glad that you have stuck around for this long and hope you stay on longer, congratulations on the 100thgame mate, hope it’s a great day out,  go out and smash it, like I know you will. All the boundary group are lucky to have you.

Congrats mate, Stickz.

100 for “Boo-Urns”

Funky tats, false teeth and plenty of laughs.

The Patrick Boourns we have all come to know and love reaches significant milestone this week – 100 VFL senior games is nothing to be sneezed at, and this week Patrick joins the elite club of 100 gamers.

Raised in a small town in the north of Melbourne known as Oak Park, Pat’s illustrious career started at the Essendon District football league, where he umpired the 2011 B B grade, and then backed it up with the 2012 A grade grand final between Strathmore and Greenvale. After that, in 2013, he got an opportunity on the development list at the VFL, umpiring in 20 TAC cup games before a quick rise up the ranks saw him promoted to the senior list in 2014.

Pat’s career highlights include:

  • 4 senior finals.
  • 1 development league grand final.
  • 2 TAC cup grand finals.
  • AFL rookie (2017 to current).
  • AFLW umpire 2018, 2019.
  • Having part of Footy Classified’s ‘Say That Again’ dedicated to him burping over match com during a TV game.

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Although a long list of awards throughout his tenure, Pat recalls his two best moments of his career so far. One of which was umpiring the 2011 EDFL B grade grand final with his brother, while his other was being told that he was still in nappies by a Geelong supporter in his first year on the senior list. We’d probably think the latter is the lesser of the two achievements. With the ups of umpiring, Pat has also recognised a few of the lesser moments in his career. When I spoke to him, he said “one of the worse moments was finding out we have to be clean shaven every week, because I reckon I would look pretty good with a moustache”, something we don’t doubt Pat.

Pat’s talents stretch far beyond the umpiring capers. He is currently an apprentice carpenter, often seen setting up frames and hammering nails into wood. He also has a gentle side, which he shows through the appreciation of his doggo Roxy. There is a lot more to write about Pat, but I would be here all day.

What separates Pat from a lot of others is his endless energies and positivity he beams. From the humour and joy he delivers us around the track and on game day, to the calm and composed actions he takes after paying a mark from a handball, we wish you all the very best in your 100th senior game.

You can catch Pat in action as he umpires the Coburg v North Melbourne match at 12.30 this Sunday at Piranha Park, Coburg.

Double Century for Deano

Chris Doyle caught up with Dean Jones before his 200thmilestone game at Adcon Stadium (Port Melbourne v. Essendon, 23 June 2019) to reflect back on his fantastic career and journey towards 200.

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200 games participation in any sporting or official endeavour is a feat nothing to be sneezed at, let alone umpiring 200 games of VFL Senior football. So, the fact that this weekend we have the 3rdever individual to reach this milestone is a feat to be congratulated and feted upon. It is somewhat ironic that the umpire who reaches this milestone, Dean Jones is one of the more quietly spoken and unassuming people you’ll meet in umpiring. Deano, who takes the goals in the Port Melbourne v Essendon match at the Adcon Stadium this Sunday definitely puts the ‘quiet’ in quiet achiever, but one can be assured that what Deano lacks in amount of words spoken, definitely makes up for in determination and application. It was a pleasure to catch up with him this week to discuss the impending milestone:

Deano, this is not the 1sttime you have reached the double ton. Who could forget your epic 210 against India at Madras in 1986-87…whoops wrong Dean Jones. What I meant to ask you is you obviously have had a range of experiences in your 200 games. What game would you say sticks out as your favourite game?

I’d have to say my favourite game was a final I did in 2005 which was Tasmania vs the Northern Bullants, which I umpired with my current coach Brad Letson. It was at Bellerive Oval, and there were 11,000 locals in attendance. They were extremely loud, until they started to get belted (Northern won by 73 points) and they all went off home

What would be your favourite thing about umpiring VFL football Deano?

My favourite thing about umpiring at the VFL football is simply going to training each week with all the guys. We have a great group of umpires in the senior squad, and the constant banter and back and forth between certain members of our group makes the whole experience really enjoyable

And what would be your least favourite?

A thing I’m not overly fond of is having to get to games 90 minutes before. It can feel like forever if there is no curtain raiser on beforehand, and you run out of things to talk out about with the bloke you’re umpiring with pretty quickly

You’ve been on the list since 2002 and you would’ve seen a heap of changes in your time at the Project Clothing centre. What would you say has been the biggest change?

The biggest change would definitely be the increased scrutiny from observers. When I started doing senior footy there would only be 3 or 4 senior games getting observed each week. However now all our games are getting observed either at the ground or on the video each week. There’s definitely nowhere to hide

And finally, who would you say you have been your favourite blokes to umpire with?

Yeah, in no particular order I would have to say I’ve enjoyed umpiring with current umpires such as Simon Plumridge (Deano’s partner on Sunday) and Chris Doyle, and some blasts from the past such as Lloyd Fisk, Michael Richardson, and Jeremy Grey

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Deano, the magnitude of this achievement is one not to be underestimated, and we all know how hard you have worked to get there. It is incredibly well deserved. Best of luck for the big day, and let’s hope there are many more games to come.

Chris Doyle (21/6/2019)

Order of Australia for Umpiring Legend

QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY 2019 HONOURS LIST

DAVID JOHN FLEGG AM

It is with great pleasure to announce that David John Flegg has been awarded an Order of Australia (AM) for his services to umpiring at the VFL and AFL level over a period spanning in excess of 35 years. The Award was announced today in the Queen’s Birthday 2019 Honours List.

A summary of David’s voluntary work for both the Australian Football League Umpires’ Association and the Victorian Football Umpires’ Association can be viewed by clicking the link below.

Click to see David’s Achievements

 

David Flegg