Ashley Borg thought his local AFL umpiring career was closing to an end two years ago.
However, a hard work regime on the track mixed with a wealth of knowledge and experience has secured the Singleton based umpire his seventh AFL Black Diamond Cup grand final.
For the third straight year, Terrigal-Avoca will take on Newcastle City (this Saturday).
“It is just as big of a thrill for any umpire to umpire a big game as it is for a player to be involved,” Borg revealed.
This will mark his seventh top tier grand final in the Newcastle region following call ups in 2005, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2016 and 2018.
He has also had the honour of umpiring an additional five WRFL (Western Regional Football League) grand finals in 2000, 2002-04 and 2006.
His total first grade match tally sits at 348 since 1995.
“The family have been encouraging and initially I was contributing to help out the juniors and mentor them with the little things,” he explained.
“I also think any medical professional that can keep a 42-year-old without cracking up and breaking down deserves a mention, so Annie Blair (Singleton physio) has been instrumental.
“Overall, I was quite surprised on Wednesday and I will definitely be back again no matter what in 2021 and just keep enjoying footy.”
The spotlight will then be on his daughter Jessica the following day when the young full back features in the undefeated Singleton Youth Girls’ grand final against Cardiff.
As for her advice?
“Try his hardest,” she concluded.