Aaron Hall will umpire his 100th game on Sunday.
Some people agonise over the decision to switch from playing to umpiring footy, but for Aaron Hall, it was a relatively simple decision.
And ahead of his 100th game on Sunday, officiating the clash between Morningside and Southport on Sunday, Hall said he knows it was the right choice.
“I would’ve been useless (at footy),” he jokes.
“I was an alright kick and I gave tackling a crack, but I’d generally end up second best.”
It’s not just Hall who thinks he’s made the right choice, but the umpiring community in general, with the Queenslander selected for the AFL Umpires rookie list for 2013.
As part of trialling for an AFL spot, Hall umpired the NAB Cup Rd 1 matches between Gold Coast, Brisbane and Hawthorn, one of the highlights of his career.
“Umpiring AFL has always been my goal and walking out on to Metricon after all the lead up, with a lot of my friends and family there, was great,” he says.
Hall has plenty of support from those around him as well; saying he got “about 25,0000” text messages when he had that opportunity in February.
The humble Hall, is quick to express his gratitude for colleagues and umpire coaches when discussing his umpiring career.
“Between the coaches and the other umpires, they’re always very supportive,” he says..
“My boss [Cherie Brockwell] has been great in letting me take the day because I need to leave early for a game or anything like that.”
As well as having a crack at the elite level, Hall umpired both the NEAFL Northern and cross-conference grand finals last season, after sitting on the bench in 2010.
“To be that close in 2010, I was happy to get it two years later.”
Hall’s enthusiasm for umpiring and footy in general, is obvious and discussing his looming milestone, Hall is clearly looking forward to just getting out there.
“It will be great,” he said.
“Morningside and Southport are always cracking games, so I’m really looking forward to it.”
“It’s just good to be involved in footy. I could be playing low division but instead I’m getting to be involved at the highest level and that’s where you want to be.”
Queensland AFL/NEAFL Umpire coach, Cameron Nash, said Hall’s tireless efforts set a strong example for younger umpires.
“Aaron is an umpire who works hard on all aspects of his umpiring,” he said.
“He has a great work ethic at training and in matches therefore sets the standard for our younger umpires.
“100 games is a great achievement in what promises to be a successful umpiring journey”.
That work ethic is key to Hall’s rise to the upper echelons on umpiring, and he syas at the end of the day, there’s a pretty simple formula for success.
“There’s no secret ingredient,” he said.
“Just train hard, get fit and watch plenty of footy.”