Bannister back in the fold
Nick Bowen February 18, 2014 10:34 AM
JORDAN Bannister will return to AFL umpiring after stepping down last year to help care for his injured brother.
Bannister took up umpiring in 2011 after playing 67 AFL games for Essendon and Carlton from 2001-2009, and was appointed to the AFL umpire list in 2012.
Bannister stepped down from the AFL list midway through last season because of work and to help support his brother Ricky, who suffered serious spinal injuries in early 2013.
AFL umpiring director Wayne Campbell said Bannister had advised him he was ready to return to AFL umpiring because his brother's condition had improved.
"Jordan will return to training with the senior umpires immediately and he will do a pre-season over the coming months to enable him to return to duty once the season is underway," Campbell said.
"He has retained a good fitness base but will still need some time to get back to AFL level.
"Jordan has a unique skill set for an umpire, as a former player, that made him well-respected across the competition and we are delighted he is now able to return to umpiring."
Bannister said he had missed the umpiring group in his time away from the game.
"I've missed the game and the umpiring group a lot since I've been away and I'm really delighted the AFL has allowed me to come back and resume with the senior group," he said.
Welcome back Jordan and good luck for the year. You showed last year just how much your family meant to you as opposed to your football.
Notice the name I placed in italics there? Yes, we have a pretty boy as the Umpiring Director. Oh dear.
Thank god he isn't coaching them and that is left to Hayden Kennedy.