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What’s changed most for this AFL umpire throughout his decorated career

Retiring AFL umpire Shaun Ryan admits he “looks for free kicks” more than he did when he entered the league in 2003.

In a fascinating interview, the leading official covered a range of umpiring issues with Gerard Healy and Sam McClure on 3AW.

Ryan was asked what had changed most since he began his career.

“I remember The Herald Sun, in about 2005, posted every umpire and their average decisions per game,” he explained.

“I think I was the least, or second least, with Brett Allen and we paid about 7.6 free kicks a game.

“You could basically sit back, relax, pay the big ticket items and let the game unfold.

“As the game progressed, there has been a focus in making sure we get a lot of different decisions to assist in alleviating the congestion.

“It means you’re sort of not waiting for the free kick to find you but in some senses you are looking for the free kick and in some senses it means you have to become more involved.

“And although that upsets the fans and players and commentators sometimes, we are paid to do a job.

“We implement the job we are paid to do.”

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