Two weeks in and it feels like we’re fully back in the swing of things. Melbourne put on one of her trademark days on Saturday, with a wet start, perfect afternoon and finally rain. Thankfully, the rain held off until after the final siren and allowed for some fantastic encounters.
It’s been great to see how quickly we’ve gelled over the first couple of weeks. Reports coming in, suggest that a round 1 goal umpiring pairing were so in sync, that they had to leave the field before play started as they had both forgotten their hats. Whilst it was great that you were on the same page guys, let’s try and keep the synchronicity to waving the flags.
Over the first 2 rounds, we have paid tribute to some legends of the VAFAUA who have retired in the off season. Today, is the final of this series as we look at the career of Darren “Daggles” Dalgleish (Pictured right of Macca who we wrote about in Rd 1).
Like many Field Umpires, Daggles started as a boundary umpire with the Waverly Juniors in 1980 before switching to the Field in 1981, where he ran until 1983. In 1984, he was invited to the VFL/AFL, for “five amazing years” that finished in 1988.
It was during this time, that he met and became good friends with Kevin “Chillie” Segota. This friendship would prove to be of great value to the VAFA, as Chillie invited Daggles to come down and umpire in the VAFA in 1989.
Darren would spend the next 10 seasons umpiring in the great footballing family that is the VAFA clubs and umpires. Daggles says that “it’s the best thing I ever did”. What made this time so special were the lasting friendships with people from both the Umpires Association and the clubs.
Daggles then spent the next decade in the footballing wilderness, before returning to the VAFA in 2007.
The second part of Darren’s VAFA career saw him move from purely officiating, to assisting with bringing through the next crop of young and, in some cases, not so young umpires as an on field match day coach in the development squad. This allowed him to impart his vast knowledge and experience to up and coming umpires during games and taught them about self-evaluation. At the end of each game he would ask two questions, “What were three things you did well today?” and “What are three things you need to work on?” These questions prompted his young charge for the day to examine the finer points of their own performance and look for positives, not just areas where they had experienced a problem.
In his final year with the VAFAUA he stepped into the role of coaching the youngest umpires, the Cadet Squad, giving the most inexperienced of our umpires the benefit of his experience.
In all, Daggles umpired 378 games in the VAFA including the 1990 C Section Grand Final with Steve McCarthy and the 1990 B Section Grand final with Graham Bush in the Field and Leah Gallagher on the boundary.
It’s probably fitting that we leave the last words to Daggles, “Umpires, we are a weird bunch that have a love of the game which some find hard to understand.”
“After half my life Umpiring & coaching this great game, and running with some great people, I’m thankful for all the friendships I’ve made along the way and will continue to have.”
Tip: Look at yourself & ask – Have I done everything in my power to get to where I what to go?”