Templeman the best umpire
ALSTONVILLE cricket umpire Mark Templeman admits it sounds corny when he says he feels privileged to have the best seat in the house behind the stumps.
And it's that sort of enthusiasm that led to him winning the E F Wykes award for the most outstanding cricket umpire in Country NSW this season.
Templeman has umpired for four years and his only regret is that he didn't take it up sooner.
"I was playing but had to stop because of an injury," the 40-year-old said.
"I wanted to give something back and this award is the ultimate honour.
"I only wish I started doing it years ago.
"It probably sounds a bit corny but it really is the best seat in the house."
The award was originally called the Association Medal and was renamed following the death of Ted Wykes in 2008.
It was once restricted to umpires officiating in Sydney grade cricket.
Templeman joined the NSW Cricket Association in 2008 and is the secretary of Far North Coast Umpires and Scorers Association.
This past season he umpired matches in the SCG Country Cup and a Far North Coast LJ Hooker League semi-final.
He also umpired a second grade match between Bankstown and St George in Sydney.
"I find most of the players are pretty good to the umpires," Templeman said.
"The Sydney game was a great experience and I hope to get the chance to do something like that again.
"I haven't had any bad experiences and I've only had to report a couple of players along the way.
"Some teams like to test you out and see how much they can get away with but you get used to it.
"It's amazing when you play, you think you know everything and its only when doing the exam that you realise there is a lot more to it.
"Umpires are an important part of the game and I think the players really appreciate having us there."
Templeman rates Ballina captain Sam Adams and Casino top-order batsman Sam Irvine as two of the best he has seen in LJ Hooker League in recent years.
He also rates Pottsville pace-bowler Michael Granger
"He is an express pace-bowler and goes really well when he's on-song," Templeman said.
"We have a lot of good players and I really like umpiring in the area.
"I wasn't a Hooker League level player but I love the game.
Templeman now has his sights set on further achievements.
"I want to get on the NSW Country panel (as an umpire)," he said.
"It is an invitation only kind of thing so it would be an absolute honour.
"If I can get that than I'll be able to umpire some more quality matches.
"I love the semi-finals because it's a higher intensity and the guys have more to play for."