EXPERIENCED umpire Shaun Ryan has been named to officiate his 350th AFL game in one of this weekend's two preliminary finals.
Ryan, who announced he would be retiring from umpiring following the 2020 AFL Finals Series, made his debut in 2003.
The Warrnambool-raised central umpire has officiated 349 matches so far, including 40 finals and eight grand finals across two stints as an umpire, but will notch up number 350 in the Brisbane versus Geelong match at the Gabba on Saturday night.
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His resume also features two All-Australian nods in 2010 and 2019 and a AFL life membership.
The 45-year-old, who is one of the AFL's most decorated umpires, officiated five grand finals in succession from 2008 to 2011, including the draw in 2010.
His work as a barrister meant he retired after the 2011 decider before returning to the caper in 2015.
He again established himself among the top rung and has umpired the past three deciders.
Ryan, who is in the Queensland hub, is still a chance to umpire in his ninth grand final before bowing out.
The long-time umpire will notch up the milestone alongside fellow experienced umpire Matt Stevic, who is officiating his 400th game.
AFL Head of Umpiring Grant Williams congratulated both Stevic and Ryan for their outstanding contribution and dedication to the game over a long period.
"Both Matt and Shaun's contributions to the game and to the AFL umpiring community over almost two decades has been outstanding and we congratulate both of them on achieving such significant milestones," he said.
"For Matt to officiate 400 AFL games is a great achievement and a testament to his commitment to the game and consistency across many years.
"Both umpires are strong leaders for umpiring across all levels of the game and we wish them and all umpires well ahead of the Preliminary Final games this weekend."
Ryan said, when he announced his retirement, he was humbled to be part of the "greatest sport at the highest level".
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