In the Lead up to Finals I will be highlighting some of our umpires who have either just got in to the game or been long serving members. This week’s profile umpire is on Aaron Riches. “Azzalenko” is one of the funny men at the Geelong Umpires. But the thing that has stood out to me since becoming involved with this group is his determination, work ethic and ability to get around all of the other guys in the group and make them feel welcome.
Name: Aaron Riches
What year did you start umpiring? 2010
Total number of games: 155
What are your Umpiring Career Highlights?
BFL 2014 Qualifying Final Barwon Heads v Drysdale with Adam Jone and Peter Elliott.the atmosphere was electric, good hard clean footy. loved it!
How did you get into umpiring? Was running around Eastern Gardens when I saw the Gelong Umpires doing their pre season training. peter West said to come over and meet the group and that's when I saw the great man, Jack Ververs. He spoke to me and just said to come along and have a crack at it. I have enjoyed it ever since.
What is the best part about umpiring? The fact I get to have the best seat in the house, close up watching the the best local football talent while I keep fit and get paid for it. It's a win win!
What would be your advice to anyone thinking about getting in to umpiring? Get around us! Umpiring is physically demanding but at the same time requires a sharp analytical mind. The community and social aspect all adds up to being an enjoyable sport.
Do you have any pre game superstitions? A couple of small ones. No food after 11am and 2 nurofen at 1pm on game day. Helps me keep up with the young blokes!
What would be the funniest moment you have experienced since you started umpiring? I umpired at Drysdale in 2014 in a borrowed pair of shorts that were 2 sizes to big for me. Basically I looked like the village idiot! peter Elliott reminds me of it daily.
In umpiring when an interesting or unique situation comes up in a game we call it a “Blue Mooner”. Each week in this article I will ask a “Blue Mooner” question for you to answer. To find out the answer all you need to do is go to the Geelong Umpires website, www.gful.com.au, and look at “What’s your Decision” under the Coaching Information Tab. This week’s question is?
In an exciting finals game at St Albans the field umpire fails to notice the boundary umpire blowing his whistle for an out of bounds decision. In the meantime, the field umpire pays a High tackle to a Belmont Lions player. What happens next? What is your Decision?
Remember to head to the website or check out next week’s article for the answer.
Last Week’s Question was:
A full back is kicking in after a behind after being instructed by the field umpire to play on, he is tackled by the full forward inside the goal square and fails to dispose of the football correctly. What is your Decision?
Answer is a free kick for Holding the Ball.
If you are interested in umpiring contact the Geelong Umpires on 03 5229 8599 or get down to the umpires’ rooms at Kardinia Park on a Monday or Wednesday from 4.30 pm onwards. Further information can be found on our brand new Geelong Umpires website. www.gful.com.au .
Remember to say something nice to the Umpires this weekend as they are giving it their all!
The Geelong Umpires would like to thank the following sponsors for their support in 2015.
Major:Metricon & Specsavers.
Gold:Buckley’s Entertainment Centre, Ford Credit Coop Society and Geelong Galvanizing.
Silver:Crossfit Geelong, Fagg’s Mitre 10, Kardinia Café, Rinnai, SC Technology, Sargeants Geelong and Technika.
Bronze:Barry Plant, Promote-It, and Routleys.