First woman to umpire in AFL grand final
Tue, 25 Sep 02:45 PM
Goal umpire Chelsea Roffey cried when told she will become the first woman to officiate at an AFL grand final.
Roffey, the league's only female umpire, has been the emergency goal umpire for the past two grand finals.
She said taking the field in Saturday's decider between Hawthorn and Sydney at the MCG would be a dream realised.
"I've been dreaming about this day for a long, long time," Roffey said on the AFL website.
"Getting the phone call (from umpires boss Jeff Gieschen) I was pretty much speechless.
"I think Jeff said 'congratulations' and I teared up and had a bit of a cry.
"So that's a bit girly, isn't it.
"So much work goes into umpiring, to have the opportunity to go out and do a grand final is something that I've worked so hard for.
"There usually is a bit of attention around the fact that I'm female but I just want to get out there and do the job."
This year's grand final will be the first in which the umpires have access to video reviews for scoring decisions, a tool Roffey employed to good effect in Friday night's Sydney-Collingwood preliminary final.
Both goal umpires, the three field umpires and three of the four boundary umpires that oversaw that match will regulate the grand final.
They were judged to have outperformed those that umpired Saturday night's Hawthorn-Adelaide preliminary final, from which only one boundary umpire was selected.
Field umpires Matt Stevic, named the All Australian umpire, and Simon Meredith will be officiating in their first grand final while for colleague Brett Rosebury it will be his fifth straight.
"It's definitely butterflies in the stomach," said Rosebury, who will take the opening bounce.
"It's really exciting. To walk on the ground and there's that huge roar and buzz and to go through the national anthem, it's a great feeling."
© AAP 2012