"If you want to get to the next level you have to go for a run" Matt Bellina reflects on the support he's received through his 150 QAFL Senior Games
Matt Bellina is set to umpire his 150th QAFL Senior match this weekend when Surfers Paradise taken on Redlands at Sir Bruce Small Park . Matt a Brisbane-based umpire, shared some insights into his umpiring journey. When asked how he first got into umpiring, Matt explained that he began in 2007, when he offered to help out his local footy club, Moorooka. After making his way to AFL Brisbane Juniors in 2009, he has since umpired in a number of high-profile games, including two QAFL Senior Grand Finals (in 2017 and 2022), two QAFL Reserves Grand Finals (in 2016 and 2021), and three AFLW games in 2017. This year, he has been given the opportunity to umpire the Under 18's national championships, which will be his first national championships.
When asked about the mentors and influences who have helped him along the way, Matt cited a number of people who have played a crucial role in his development as an umpire. Ryan McConnell, who encouraged him to get fitter during a few off-seasons, has been a major influence, as has Tim Neville, who initially believed in him to go deeper into September and then back it up and run the initial season of AFLW. Chris Fawcett, who has been in and out of Matt's umpiring career since he started with the HP group, has also been a significant mentor. Ashley Dunstan, who went from on-field mentor to QAFL coach, has been a big influence in fine-tuning Matt's umpiring.
Last but certainly not least, Steph (Wife), has been a massive influence on Matt's umpiring over the years with her continuous support and comments of "if you want to get to the next level you have to go for a run" when it was 37 degrees in the middle of the off-season.
Congratulations again Matt