This match comes six years on from when Cook umpired his most memorable match, interestingly enough the exact same fixture, which was the first time in history that WA knocked off the Vics in an Amateur State match on enemy territory.
In what was a tight game which ebbed and flowed the VAFA ended up taking out the match 17.16 – 118 to 14.8 – 92.
Cook who started umpiring in 1997, after a knee reconstruction abruptly ended his playing career, originally umpired in the Sunday Football League and then came across to the Amateur’s when the two umpiring groups combined in the mid 2000’s.
He originally started umpiring to keep fit and give something back to the game he loved, however over recent year’s he has been further motivated by enjoyment and the introduction of his oldest son Joshua as a boundary umpire.
Cook has attributed his successful season and subsequent selection as the state umpire to his solid fitness level, running a 4km time trial in under 16 minutes, his consistency on the field and an attitude whereby he hasn’t put any extra pressure on himself to perform but just go out and do his best and see where that takes him.
Overall Cook has umpired nearly 500 matches in Community football with the highlight being the 2008 A Grade Amateur Grand Final. He believes that the professionalism of senior community umpiring has improved in recent times, with more coaching of umpires, better fitness programs and a great camaraderie within the group.
Cook hopes to umpire as long as possible, enjoys mixing it with the younger umpires coming through and attributes his success to a very understanding and supportive wife, who gives up a lot with a young family with Cook training twice a week and umpiring on weekends.
Picture: State Umpire Graeme Cook and Senior Community Field Umpires Coach Terry Battle.