BEST IN GRADE: Former Clarence Valley cricket umpire Darren Goodger has equalled the record for number of Umpire of the Year gongs.
BEST IN GRADE: Former Clarence Valley cricket umpire Darren Goodger has equalled the record for number of Umpire of the Year gongs. Bill North

CRICKET: Goodger claims record sixth ‘Best Umpire’ gong

CRICKET: Former Clarence Valley cricket umpire Darren Goodger has again been recognised for his efforts in the Sydney First Grade competition.

Goodger has been voted the best umpire in the grade this season for a record-equalling sixth time with former International umpire Ian Thomas.

The SCA Panel award for first grade is adjudged by the captains of each competition side, with Goodger receiving an almost perfect scoring of 4.9 out of five.

The umpires are assessed by the captains on five different disciplines, including decision-making, communication, decisiveness, match management and positive attitude.

For Goodger, the award was "an honour" and "very humbling".

"Umpiring is a team game," Goodger said. "So whenever an individual wins a gong, it is always because of the support that exists behind them and the support that exists with them."

"Umpiring is a simple game, it comes down to preparation.

"It is just about being in the moment for every ball and just giving every ball your best."

NSW Cricket umpire mentor Graham Reed said Goodger was very well deserving of the recognition.

"In my role as a match referee for Sydney First Grade cricket, I phone the captains of the six first grade semi-finalists and get their opinions of our top umpires," he said.

"Almost to a man, over the last two or three seasons the captains have all rated Darren at number one without exception.

"I think it comes from a number of things - it comes from his preparation and knowledge of the laws and playing conditions, his teamwork with his colleagues, his technique and field craft is very well respected, he shows respect and dignity to the players and gets it back from them.

"I have nothing but the highest regard for Darren and his work ethic."

The awards dinner had a Clarence feel about it, with former local identity Bill Massingham voted Second Grade Umpire of the Year.



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