Rosebury reaches 500 club
AFL umpiring legend Shane McInerney has heaped praise on his close friend Brett Rosebury, who is set to surpass his record for the most games officiated at the top level.
Rosebury will equal McInerney’s tally in umpiring his 500th career game this weekend looks set to to break the record next weekend.
McInerney told Sports Breakfast the secret to Rosebury’s longevity was preparing in elite fashion.
“I have joked with Brett that they had to introduce the fourth umpire to get him through to 500,” McInerney said.
“He wasn’t a natural aerobic athlete, he’s more of a sprinter. He certainly had to adapt very early on in his career.
“It wasn’t an easy road for him. It’s also a reflection on all the really hard work and commitment Brett’s put in to be able to achieve this milestone.
A wunderkind in the umpiring ranks, Rosebury is the youngest person to officiate at both WAFL and AFL level, making his state league debut at 18 before breaking through to the top level in 2000.
McInerney said Rosebury was confident in his abilities as a fledgling umpire.
“In umpiring years and football years, the age of 20 is incredibly young,” he said.
“Umpiring is really about gaining experiences on the field, I think that’s where you get your best learning. Playing is a bit different, you come into a team environment and have a role to play, but when you’re out there umpiring with the whistle, you’ve got nowhere to hide.
“I think it’s the ability to learn quickly and to always to be seeking to improve that’s held him in good stead and is why he’s been at the top of his game for so long.”
McInerney said Rosebury was a role model for other umpires in the industry.
“He was playing, being a good Armadale boy, in the under-17’s, and he was so disgusted at the standard and the performance of umpiring that he rang up the local umpiring squad and said ‘listen, I can do a better job than the blokes you’re sending out here, how do I become an umpire’,” he said.
“He is a very humble person, you haven’t heard a lot from him this week in the media, he has been very careful with how he wants to present himself. A few of us have had to encourage him.
“I don’t know anyone in the industry who would have a bad word for him. Anyone that has any issues in umpiring with performance or wants some advice, he’s the first person they ring and he’ll always take the call and give people that time.”
Rosebury umpired the 1999 and 2000 WAFL grand finals as well as a record-equalling nine season deciders at AFL level.