Kyabram Free Press

Caldwell’s duo lights up the Globe Derby track

- By Gus Underwood By Gus Underwood

Kyabram hobby trots trainer Greg Caldwell’s decision to send two pacers to campaign in South Australia is reaping dividends.

One of the pacers Caldwell bred, Summerdays, has racked up three wins, five seconds and a third from 11 starts at Globe Derby for prominent local trainer David Smith.

The second horse Caldwell sent,

Kyabram teenager Jack Norris has claimed one of the Goulburn Valley Football Umpires Associatio­n’s top awards.

The 18-year-old has been named the winner of the associatio­n’s prestigiou­s Greg Sidebottom Golden Whistle award.

The award, named in honour of long-serving and respected associatio­n stalwart, the late Greg Sidebottom, acknowledg­es an umpire who is touted as having what it takes to progress to higher levels in the sport.

Jack was watching the awards live-streamed and admitted being ‘‘shocked’’ when his name was read out.

“It was overwhelmi­ng really,’’ Jack

Villanelle, also hasn’t wasted any time paying his way with a win and two seconds from four starts.

Caldwell, his son Rodney, Ian Mcdermott, Nathalia’s Doug Hutchins and Brian Hutchins and Marilyn Frost race Villanelle and are getting a big kick out of the pacer’s performanc­es.

Merrigum owners and breeders Greg and Jenny Pell have enjoyed successive wins with three-year-old reflected.

Jack has forsaken a promising football career - his cousin is Kyabram ruck star Zac Norris - to go down the umpiring path.

Forced to make some monumental decisions early in his life, he has not regretted them for a moment, answering a call from the GVFUA for boundary umpires as an 11-year-old.

‘‘Mum saw the ad on TV and it went from there,’’ said Jack, who thrusted himself headlong into one of sport’s great challenges.

Within two years of running the boundary for the first time, Jack was promoted to do his first central umpire appointmen­t as a 13-year-old.

This is generally five or six years before most young umpires are pacer Holi Starzzz.

After winning at the Geelong meeting on October 6, Holi Starzzz repeated the dose at last week’s Kilmore meeting.

The daughter of Four Starzzz Shark, driven by leading concession reinsman James Herbertson, was an odds-on favourite and gave her backers a scare as she had only a short half head to spare at the finishing line. entrusted with a senior central umpiring appointmen­t.

Jack already has some memorable moments in his umpiring career. He lists umpiring a Little League clash on the famous MCG at halftime of the 2016 AFL Grand Final among them.

Officiatin­g as a central umpire in a Kyabram League game as a 13-yearold is another.

From that experience Jack earned quick promotion and has been sharing the central umpires role in senior games in the GVL and Murray Leagues and the KDL for the last five years.

Another highlight was umpiring the senior interleagu­e clash between the KDL and the Golden Rivers Football League in 2019.

Jack has also been a recipient of

The David Miles-trained pacer has won six races with four seconds and a third from only 19 career starts.

The Pells also bred and own the Group 1 winner The Panthiest, which finished strongly in the $30,000 Group 3 Make Mine Cullen feature at the Ballarat meeting last Saturday night to show she is nearing peak form.

David Miles also prepares The Panthiest. the Phillip Moran Rising Star Award, which recognises an umpire dedicated to personal improvemen­t and committed to performing at the best of their ability on every occasion.

Jack said there were a lot of people who had helped and mentored him, which he was forever grateful for.

These include his parents (Matthew and Susie) for driving him around the Goulburn Valley on Saturdays, close family, Andrew Moore, Stuart Bott, Darren Meek, Ian Goldrick, and Glenn Hayes and all the umpires or advisers he umpires with each weekend.

Jack is now waiting to hear of his next promotion, a possible place in the VFL Academy umpires group. And Jack’s ultimate aim? No surprises for this ambitious young man in white. Making it in the big league - AFL - is firmly in his sights.

And anyone who knows Jack well will tell you that’s a reachable ambition.

Other major GVFUA award winners for the season were James Meek, who claimed the Field Umpire of the Year accolade, Oscar Lambourn who took the Phillip Moran Rising Star award, Len Hort who was named the Howard Phillips Best Clubperson winner and Liam Hall, who was adjudged Boundary Umpire of the Year.

Most improved awards went to Tom Janke (field umpire), Tristan Birch (boundary) and Mark Morrison (goal umpire) while James Mark received a Fitness Coach’s award.

 ?? ?? Directing traffic:
Kyabram’s Jack Norris in action.
Directing traffic: Kyabram’s Jack Norris in action.
 ?? ??
 ?? ?? Cross-border raid: Kyabram’s Greg Caldwell is enjoying success in South Australia.
Cross-border raid: Kyabram’s Greg Caldwell is enjoying success in South Australia.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia