When umpires are scrutinised in a game of football, it is usually the field umpires who receive most of the attention. But there are other disciplines in the umpiring fraternity who work just as hard to contribute to the Adelaide Footy League, with Boundary Umpiring Head Coach Ian Denham and Goal Umpiring Head Coach Steve Chryssochoos leading their respective groups to prepare and perform effectively.
SANFL Life Member Ian Denham has an impressive history in boundary umpiring, having umpired over 250 SANFL League games including the 1984 and 1985 Grand Finals. He was on the first ever South Australian AFL umpiring panel and went on to become Head Coach of the SANFL boundary umpires for two years. Despite boundary umpiring being physically challenging, Ian loves what the role involves. “It is a great way to get fit while being in the best position to watch close contests and great skills. As you’re working with a team, the mateship with others is priceless.” Since starting his current position at the start of the 2016 Season, he has learnt to appreciate exactly what the Adelaide Footy League offers boundary umpires. “I’ve been able to work with a diverse range of umpires and I’ve enjoyed using my teaching experience to help new umpires. There are huge opportunities available for young umpires these days, with one of last year’s AFL Grand Final boundary umpires starting his career with the Adelaide Footy League a few years ago. I really enjoy being present at a game each week where true grassroots footy is on display. It has also meant I’ve been able to stay in touch with fellow umpires who I ran with many years ago!”
Steve Chryssochoos was a leading SANFL goal umpire from 1996 to 2006 before becoming the SANFL Head Goal Umpires Coach for five years. His passion for goal umpiring has continued on with the Adelaide Footy League after being appointed to his current role at the start of 2015. “We have a very diverse group, with a big difference in age groups among the goal umpires. It is exciting to be involved on match day, seeing all the local supporters at each match and the cars parked around the ground.” While there are opportunities for goal umpires of all ages and abilities, Steve gets especially excited seeing youngsters come through the ranks. “From a development point, it’s a great way to start your goal umpiring. The pathway to the SANFL and the AFL from the Adelaide Footy League has never been easier.”
This weekend sees the Adelaide Footy League recognise the efforts of all umpires in its Umpire Appreciation Round. For more details about umpiring, visit www.adelaidefooty.com.au/umpiring