I HATE umpire bashing — in the verbal form — and fully appreciate their role in the game.
But like a lot of the footy fans at Euroa’s Memorial Oval on Saturday I was left baffled with many of the decisions of the men in white officiating in the GVL Euroa-Kyabram game.
They seemed obsessed with dishing out 50m and even a 100-metre penalties in what I thought was a glaring example of over-umpiring.
I’m not saying some of their decisions weren’t from the rule book. But from my observations there were no signs from any of the players, from both sides, indicating any unwanted or illegal physical confrontations before the umpires made their puzzling decisions.
One of the fairest players in the game, Kyabram’s Josh Pell, copped successive 50-metre penalties in the one incident in the last quarter. This was the last straw for a lot of supporters, who voiced their discontent in no uncertain matter.
Surely a few wise words from the umps would have been far more appropriate than barnstorming the players in trying to show their authority.
There is always more than one way to earn the confidence of players no matter what the situation is but these umpires just didn’t seem to want to listen in this game.
Riley among the best
TALENTED young Kyabram footballer Riley Ironside was one of the better players for Bendigo Pioneers in its 16-point loss to Calder Cannons in the NAB League last Saturday.
Ironside was used in several roles and was named second best for the Pioneers, who paid the price for giving a four-goal start to their rivals.
Two former Kyabram players were also among the best players for their new clubs in the Murray Football League last Saturday.
Coby McCarthy played a top game on the ball for Tongala in its second win for the season while Charlie McLay was among Echuca United’s best in a loss to Numurkah.
GVL gets injection of young blood
GOTAFE Goulburn Valley League coach Brad Campbell has added 10 younger players to the GVL squad, including Kyabram’s Zac Norris and Brad Whitford.
Veteran Bomber goalkicking forward Kayne Pettifer, currently the leading goalkicker in the GVL, has also been added to the initial squad of 35 players from which a side will be chosen to represent the league in the AFL Victoria’s Community Championships round against the Western Region Football League at Werribee’s Avalon Oval on Saturday week (May 18).
Campbell believes experience for the younger additions, including Norris and Whitford, will help their development.
“The coaching panel have been out watching all games each week and what we have noticed is the talent of the young, up and coming players in the league. For this reason, we have decided to invite 10 players to join the squad and train in a development capacity,” said Campbell.
“We’ve been impressed with the performances of these players so far this season and recognise them as having the potential to represent our league in coming years.”
Other Bombers named in the intitial squad are Lachy Smith, Kyle Mueller, Mick Mattingly, Patrick Wearden, Jordan Williams, Brad Mangan, Luke Morris and Tom Holman.
Andyou makes it two
KYABRAM trots trainer Wes Shellie has produced diminutive trotting mare Andyou for two metropolitan class wins in the past two weeks.
After winning the previous week at Melton to claim her first metropolitan class win Andyou repeated the dose in a race last Saturday night, which qualifies her to contest the $30,000 final this Saturday night at Melton.
A fourth in his heat has also qualified the Mick Blackmore-trained Claudys Prince to contest the same final.
Blackmore enjoyed his second $25,000 Shepparton Trotters Cup win recently with Jackson Square for veteran Stanhope owner-breeder Mac Poole.
Blackmore won the same race in 2015 with Claudys Princess.
Lancaster horsewoman Carmel Belot also enjoyed a win recently with her trotter Levina who upset more fancied runners in a TO or better class trot at the Echuca meeting on April 21.
Levina was in the prizemoney again last week, running a bold second off a backmark at another Echuca meeting.
Farewell to an old sparring partner
I WAS sorry to hear of the recent death of Ambrose Christian, an old sparring ruck rival of mine in his playing days at the Echuca Football Club.
Ambrose was with Echuca at the end of the club’s days in the Bendigo Football League and its early days in the 1970s when it joined the Goulburn Valley Football League.
Although not tall he was a powerful ruckman who was difficult to outmanoeuvre.
Ambrose, who was 76, was also a stalwart of the Echuca Racing Club where he was awarded a life membership and named a patron for his tireless services.