For some of the players running around today it may be the highlight of their career to play finals and hopefully win a premiership. It is a prestigious appointment to be selected for a final or grand final as an umpire as it is a reward for not only the hard work they put in on match day, training and recovery sessions throughout the year but shows great faith the coaching panel have in the umpires taking part on the big day.
I had the pleasure last weekend to go out to Modewarre and watch some of our up and coming Umpires on our Development list officiate in Junior Grand Finals. Even though it may have been a bit cold I had a fantastic day along with a large crowd in attendance.
This weekend the Geelong Umpires will celebrate another fantastic year for our Development umpires with the conclusion of the Junior football season grand finals being played at Modewarre. This year has seen a mass influx of kids take up umpiring and surprisingly a lot of them also play football as well.
I love this time of year! The weather starts to improve, the smell of freshly cut grass is in the air, the days start to get a bit longer and the excitement of all footy followers starts to build.
With finals just around the corner I came across a post of Facebook late last week from the South Metro Junior Football Umpires League. The post had a picture of a young boy, 13-14 years old who plays for his local team before or after umpiring, and like most kids is not keen on being abused by players, officials or spectators!
Each year for the past seven years, the Geelong Umpires, together with the Geelong & District Football League, has partnered with Encompass Community Services to present the Encompass Cup, a football match which celebrates the valuable contribution that people with disabilities make to sport in Geelong.
Last Wednesday the Geelong Umpires celebrated their Life Members night with close to 100 past and present members in attendance. For me this is one of the best nights of the year as I get the chance to speak to some of our greatest ever umpires and relive some of the great stories from their time in Umpiring.