BLG finals: The unsung heroes of the BLG

Umpires: they can be one of the most hated people in sport.

But, “if you don’t have umpires, you don’t have a game”.

Veteran whistle blower Rob Polito is looking forward to the 2017 Barossa, Light and Gawler Football Associations grand finals.

Polito is among one of the umpires who will be adjudicating the most important feature on the BLG calendar and he said there’s always a real buzz around the men and women in white.

“I’m disappointed we’ve only got a couple of weeks to go and then it’s over again,” he said.

“One of the highlights of my career has been umpiring A Grade grand finals and being acknowledged at that level.

“What’s good about this season is the difference between third and seventh was a game and percentage, and no-one was getting thumped – that’s great for the league.”

The 45-year-old took up umpiring after his playing career ended and said while it can have it’s ups and downs he loves his job.

“I’ll do it for as long as I can and for as long as my body lets me,” Polito said.

“It’s a way to give back to the game.

“I thoroughly enjoy it.

“It’s never about us, it’s about going out and having fun.”

The Barossa Herald is once again the major sponsor of the Barossa, Light and Gawler Football Association Umpires, a partnership which has spanned many years to date.

Herald editor Carla Wiese-Smith said she was pleased to see the long association continue.

“We know how important umpires are to the success of not just footy, but any sport,” Miss Wiese-Smith said.

“We’re really pleased to be supporting such an integral part of local football and look forward to this partnership continuing for many more years.”

Grand final central umpires

A grade

  • Robert Polito
  • Bradley Banks
  • James Goode


  • Adam Coulbourn
  • Mark Hermann
  • Kalin Sallivan

Senior Colts

  • Mark Pfitzner
  • Tyson Liebelt
  • Bradley Vincent

Junior Colts

  • Brian Koch
  • Nicholas Matthew
  • Tim Asher