When Jono Beech kicked an emotional goal in memory of his late mother during his Adelaide Crows debut against Essendon last year, his father Mick and brother Kylan were cheering proudly from the sidelines. While Jono is back playing with West Adelaide this year in the SANFL, Mick and Kylan are venturing onto the field themselves in the Adelaide Footy League, not as players but as field umpires.
55 year old Mick Beech, who works as the Volunteer Development Facilitator at St Vincent De Paul, spent three years umpiring part-time in the Riverland several years ago before being encouraged by Adelaide Footy umpire Craig Trewartha to take out the whistle again in 2017. “It’s been great. I’ve really enjoyed meeting new people, improving my fitness and getting to umpire with Kylan,” said Mick. Spending most of his time in B grade so far, he intends to keep improving his umpiring and helping the games he is involved in by encouraging “a fair and honest contest”.
Having seen his brother rise through the ranks to the AFL, 15 year old Kylan has his sights set on reaching the same level through umpiring. Astute observers believe he definitely has the potential, having already been appointed to umpire at A grade level in the Adelaide Footy League and having been chosen to officiate in the recent SANFL Women’s Grand Final thriller between South Adelaide and Norwood. Currently in Year 10 at Nazareth Catholic College, Kylan is thoroughly enjoying his involvement with the Adelaide Footy League. “Football means a lot to me because it’s the best sport in the world. I would love to umpire AFL one day but I’m really enjoying umpiring with this League at the moment. It’s great footy – I love how the players are so competitive.” Kylan will be umpiring his first Division 2 A grade game this Saturday as the Brighton Bombers take on the Unley Jets at Brighton Oval.
Mick and Kylan will be a part of this weekend’s Umpires Appreciation Round when all players, coaches and supporters are encouraged to acknowledge the role that umpires play in the game of Australian Rules Football. For more information about umpiring, visit www.adelaidefooty.com.au/umpiring