Brash chalks up his 150th centre bounce

AFL umpire couldn’t stay away
By Ruby Roberts (Armidale Express, 26/06/2009)
Local AFL umpire Lindsay Brash will referee his 150th game this weekend, after almost 10 years of wearing the whistle.

“It’s a good feeling to be able to look back after all these years,” Brash said.

“I only found out myself on Tuesday night, and it was a nice surprise.”

Brash began umpiring in 2000, after a 10-year break from the game.

“I played AFL when I was younger, and found myself missing it,” he said.

“I wanted to get fit and take part in the game, but I didn’t want to play any more.

“Umpiring involves a lot of running around, but it’s easier on the body, because you take less hits.”

Although umpiring is less physically demanding than playing, Brash said that umpires must be prepared to put up with people getting angry about decisions.

“You do need a thick skin to be an umpire,” he said.

“People are passionate about the game and people do get their noses out of joint occasionally.

“Luckily the AFL sets a fairly high standard of conduct and umpires are not expected to put up with anything too unreasonable.”

Despite the odd grumble from fans or players, Brash plans to keep umpiring.

“I’ll keep going as long as I’m enjoying myself, and see how it goes,” he said.

“I still feel like I’m developing new skills – I try to continuously assess and improve my performance as situations arise.”

Brash would encourage anyone interested in AFL umpiring to give it a try.

“The AFL has really good training manuals and umpires are given plenty of support and assistance as they learn the ropes.

“In particular, young people who are interested in umpiring will find lots of support, and opportunities exist to pursue it to higher levels, and umpiring a local team is a great start.”

Brash’s 150th game will take place tomorrow when the New England Nomads are at home to the Inverell Saints at Bellevue.

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