Goulburn Valley Football Umpires’ Association had a taste of what it was like to train as an AFL umpire last night.By Hannah Driscoll
Goulburn Valley Football Umpires’ Association had a taste of what it was like to train as an AFL umpire last night.
Boundary umpire Adam Coote and field umpire Nick Foot were in Shepparton yesterday as part of the AFL Umpire Roadshow.
Coote, 30, first umpired an AFL match in 2005 and umpired the grand final the following year.
He has umpired five grand finals in total, including the 2010 grand final and replay, and has umpired 189 AFL matches.
Foot, 25, is entering his second year on the senior umpire list and has umpired 10 AFL matches.
Coote and Foot were in Wangaratta on Tuesday and Echuca-Moama on Wednesday and have been visiting schools and training with local umpiring associations as part of the roadshow.
They visited Kyabram P-12 and Notre Dame yesterday, before taking the session with GVFUA.
The umpires were put through a watered-down AFL session with a full warm-up, skill-based drills and other exercises focused on strengthening the body and injury prevention.
But Coote, who started his career with Colac and District Umpires’ Association, said the Q-and-A section of the session was just as important.
‘‘I say, ‘Look I was in your shoes in 1997 down in Colac so this is the path’,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s possible if they’re really serious about umpiring, here’s the path that gives you the opportunity.’’
Coote and Foot began their umpiring careers while playing junior football and ultimately chose to carry on with umpiring when the choice had to be made between the two.
Foot is from Tasmania and said the dream of umpiring AFL did not hit until he was 17 because at the time there was no defined pathway set up like there was in Victoria.
That changed when the Tasmanian State League was formed in 2009 and he umpired the first three TSL grand finals.
As someone who struggled with fitness as a child, Foot said the biggest lesson he learned was to be honest with himself.
‘‘I’ve never been a natural athlete or anything like that, so really putting the hard work in paid off,’’ he said.
‘‘I was always told I had potential as an umpire, but you’re not going to make anything of potential.’’
Coote’s biggest piece of advice was not to get far ahead of yourself because you might have a good game one week only to have things go against you the next.
‘‘You’ve just got to remain focused and don’t get ahead of yourself because otherwise it becomes a very tough environment to be in,’’ he said.
AFL umpires Nick Foot and Adam Coote (centre) were on hand to give tips to Goulburn Valley umpires Tanner Hunter and Kate Boyd at a social training session last night.
Tanner Hunter gets some pointers from AFL field umpire Nick Foot.
AFL boundary umpire Adam Coote and Goulburn Valley umpire Kate Boyd.
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