Cricket final a highlight for Went
WHEN he eventually hangs up his umpire's hat, David Went will certainly have some stories to tell.
The Goonellabah official helped oversee the recent SCG Country Cup final between Hamilton-Wickham and Tamworth at the famous old stadium.
Selection for the match - the pinnacle contest for every amateur cricketer in the State - was the latest step in Went's notable umpiring career.
The 60-year-old said being part of such a prestigious contest had been a "real buzz".
"It certainly is, especially when you see all the names of the great players who have played there," he said.
"All the names of the New South Wales Test umpires are up on the board in the dressing room.
"To think you are following their footsteps is very satisfying."
This was the third time Went, who has been umpiring for nearly 20 years, was appointed to oversee the final.
The father-of-three was selected from a panel of some of the best umpires from regional Australia.
He was chosen alongside fellow country representative Bruce Whiteman for the 50-over contest, which the Newcastle side won by seven wickets.
"Just before the match the butterflies are there, but after a few overs you forget about it," Went said. "You just feel humble you are at a match like that.
"These are some of the State's best players, so you do feel under pressure to get things right.
"It's just about concentration and keeping your head."
Went, who has also overseen Sydney first grade and top national women's matches, said the best thing about umpiring was having a front-row view of some of the State's most exciting players.
"For me, it's great seeing the talented young players -whether batsman or bowlers - coming through," he said.
"It's also great seeing a good captain working out their field combinations, and having the games played in good spirit."
Went is now preparing for his next big assignment, next month's Country Colts tournament at Coffs Harbour.
The grandfather-of-eight said he hoped his selection would encourage other prospective officials.
"When I'm old and retired I will look back and think how lucky I was to get these games," he said.
"If I can get these games, then hopefully it can inspire other people to reach for the heights. It would be great to see more of the younger guys giving umpiring a go."
DAVID'S TIPS FOR UMPIRING
CONCENTRATION: "You cannot concentrate for a
full day of cricket. You have to learn how to 'switch
off' when the ball is not in play, but work out how
to be fully concentrationg when needed."
PREPARATION: "It's about reading and
understanding the laws of the game, knowing your
fellow umpire and all the rules."
AVAILABILITY: "Making sure you are ready to umpire
when you can."
HEALTH: "Keeping yourself reasonably healthy as
you have to be fit."