JUNIOR footballers in the Hampden and Warrnambool district leagues are benefiting from Phil Meade’s desire to stay involved in the game.
Meade notched up 300 games last Saturday when he was central umpire for the Koroit versus Warrnambool under 18.5 game.
Meade, 37, has been umpiring for two decades.
“I played juniors at Panmure but I wasn’t much good at it so I took up club umpiring,” Meade said.
“That was pretty tough, everyone knows you and being only a young bloke it made it a hard job to do. I joined the umpires association and I’ve been at it ever since.”
Meade’s occupation as a dairy farmer has meant most of his games have been at junior level.
“I have done about 20 senior games but I have to get a milker in if I do an afternoon game so I normally put my hand up for the juniors.”
A career highlight for Meade was umpiring the 2016 and 2017 Warrnambool and district league 17.5 and under grand finals. He is hoping to add to his highlight reel.
“The body is feeling good so hopefully I can keep going for another 10 years before it breaks down,” he said.
Another umpiring milestone was reached recently with Jim Rylance officiating in his 200th match when he oversaw the Dennington versus Allansford senior game.
A former player with Heytesbury and Ecklin, Rylance said having a good relationship with the players was important.
“It’s all about the umpires and players having respect for each other,” Rylance said.
“It certainly helps both ways.”