AFL names umpires for the 2021 grand final

Alex ConradNCA NewsWire
Matt Stevic has been appointed as one of the umpires for the AFL Grand Final. Michael Klein
Camera IconMatt Stevic has been appointed as one of the umpires for the AFL Grand Final. Michael Klein Credit: News Corp Australia

Matt Stevic, the umpire at the centre of Toby Greene’s latest suspension, will officiate his ninth AFL grand final in the past 10 years and eighth straight decider after a roller-coaster 2020 season.

Stevic was named alongside Brett Rosebury and Jacob Mollison to oversee the clash between Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs, with Mollison to make his grand final umpiring debut after 14 seasons with the whistle in hand.

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Both Stevic and Rosebury have umpired over 400 matches each, with the latter sitting in third on the list of all-time games officiated with a whopping 458.

Rosebury has also achieved the incredible feat of serving quarantine periods in every state for the duration of the AFL season, including a six-week block in NSW and Queensland.

Simon Meredith, who has umpired six grand finals throughout his career, was named as the emergency umpire.

North Melbourne vs Western Bulldogs
Camera IconBrett Rosebury will officiate his ninth AFL grand final. Michael Klein Credit: News Corp Australia

AFL head of umpiring Dan Richardson praised the trio for their appointment, and believes it is the perfect reward for their exemplary efforts in the middle throughout the season.

“Brett, Matt and Jacob have performed consistently across the entire season and fully deserve their selection in what is an historic Toyota AFL Grand Final in Perth,” Richardson said.

“I also want to take this opportunity to congratulate each boundary and goal umpire selected for the 2021 Toyota AFL Grand Final and thank every umpire who officiated AFL football this season.

“It has been yet another challenging season for everyone in the football and the wider community and I want to acknowledge the professionalism and commitment from each umpire and their families this season.”

Stevic’s appointment comes after he was in the eye of the Toby Greene storm during the GWS Giants’ narrow elimination final victory over the Sydney Swans.

Greene appeared to have bumped into Stevic at three-quarter time, and the GWS star was adjudged by the AFL Tribunal to have made intentional contact with an umpire and copped a three-week suspension for his troubles.

Upon watching the footage of the incident again, Stevic couldn’t deny contact was made, and said, “I don’t think it’s a good look for the game.”

Boundary umpire Michael Barlow will also make his grand final officiating debut, and will be joined by Michael Marantelli, Christopher Gordon and Matthew Konetschka.

Ben Macdonald takes up the position of the emergency boundary umpire.

The 2021 AFL Grand Final will take place at Optus Stadium in Perth on Saturday.

Originally published as AFL names umpires for the 2021 grand final

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