At the age of just 16 years old Hayden first decided to pick up the whistle and give Umpiring a go. He had always loved sports, in particular AFL, but thought the he was too small to make it to the AFL Level.
Hayden was born and bred in Melbourne, Victoria and is still there to this day.
Hayden’s umpiring career is second to none. 495 VFL / AFL games after debuting in 1988. That’s just his VFL/AFL Umpiring Career. Hayden umpired at local Essendon District Football League for 3 years before being promoted to under 19 VFL (as it was known back then) development squad in 1984. He was then promoted to the elite senior VFL umpiring in 1987 and then debuted a year later at 22 years old.
Hayden has umpired in 5 AFL Grand Finals and 39 finals.
Post Hayden’s umpiring career, he became the assistant coach to the AFL squad in 2012 and 2013 and became the Head of AFL Umpire Coaching in 2014 and served in this position until June 2021.
Pre and post coaching career, Hayden is a secondary teacher, specialising in Health and Physical Education. He can now add Official Coach Specialist for the Officiating Collective to his extensive resume.