Field umpires Jason Mounce and Tony Symons have been appointed to this Saturday’s Adelaide Footy Division 1 Grand Final between Rostrevor Old Collegians and Payneham Norwood Union at ALDI Arena. After umpiring together in last Saturday’s Preliminary Final at Pertaringa Oval, they have been told they would officiate again in the biggest Adelaide Footy game for the year. It will be Mounce’s fifth Division 1 Grand Final (having previously been appointed in 2010, 2011, 2014 and 2016) and Symons’ fourth Division 1 Grand Final (having umpired the 2012 Grand Final and two 2013 Grand Finals including the drawn Grand Final).
Both umpires have been highly rated by official umpires observers throughout 2017, with 44 year old Mounce continuing on his top form after winning last season’s Casey Cooper Medal for Best Adelaide Footy Field Umpire. 49 year old Symons, a former AFL/SANFL boundary umpire and SANFL field umpire, puts his improvement this year down to working extra hard on his fitness level. “To keep up with the young guns in the group, I realised I needed to train even harder so I set myself a goal of running our 3km time trial in under 11 minutes. During a normal week, I run between 60 and 80 kilometres every lunchtime with a group of runners. That has helped me to drop 6 kilograms and stay injury free.”
It will be a normal preparation for the umpires before Saturday’s game, with the standard Monday and Wednesday umpires training being a part of their lead up. Both have their own unique routines, with Mounce “wearing the same socks to a game” and Symons “having a couple of cans over a pasta meal on Friday night”.
So what are they most looking forward to on Saturday?
Jason Mounce: “The whole day is special for me, arriving at the ground that will be in perfect condition and it looks like we will have great spring weather. Being lucky enough to be involved in the game between the two best teams of the season is really exciting in front of a large crowd. And then relaxing after a hard day with a few umpiring friends and reflecting on another season that has passed so quickly.”
Tony Symons: “Umpiring with Mouncey who is a great bloke, umpire and friend. I’m hoping for a close game that’s decided by less than a kick after the siren from a correct Holding The Ball decision paid by Mouncey!”
The boundary and goal umpires for the game have also been announced with Ryan England, Tristian Rogers, Thomas Keatley and Andrew Roberts to run the boundary, while Chris Adey and Steve Martin will adjudicate behind the goals.