The Southern Football Netball League this week places its officiators in the spotlight as it celebrates Community Umpiring Round.
Several initiatives will take place to commemorate the round and acknowledge the great contributions that our umpires make to the sports of football and netball. All players and coaches are invited to shake hands with the umpires before their netball and football games this weekend, while all umpires are encouraged to stay back after their matches and enjoy a beverage with the host club.
On Sunday, The 5th Quarter team will be joined live in the studio by former AFL goal umpire Luke Walker. Walker retired after the 2017 AFL Grand Final after 261 AFL matches between the posts, which includes seven AFL Grand Finals and a record 37 finals matches, and joins the SFNL umpiring panel as a fieldie in 2018. We look forward to hearing about all Luke’s journey in the AFL from 10:15am on 88.3 Southern FM.
In another Community Umpiring Round initiative, SFNL Media Officer Will Hunter will don the green shirt on Sunday and officiate the Hallam V Oakleigh District Women’s Division 1 match alongside the umpire’s boss Pete Marshall.
On Tuesday night the SFNL Umpires were lucky enough to be joined by five top AFL officiators in Rob Findlay, Leigh Fisher (field), Patrick Cran, Ben McDonald (boundary) and Dylan Benwell (goal).
Their visit was part of AFL Victoria’s celebration of Community Umpiring Round, with AFL umpires visiting community umpiring groups around the state.
And it was a massive night for the SFNLUA, with more than 180 umps in attendance on the night not willing to miss the rare opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the best in the business.
The quintet helped put the SFNL umpires through their paces on the track, passing on their wealth of technical knowledge from the highest level, before sharing their journey and experience with the group via a post-training Q&A session facilitated by Pete Marshall.
Marshall said all five AFL officiators were great ambassadors for umpiring and spoke highly of the benefit their visits have on community umpiring groups such as the SFNL.
So if you get the opportunity this weekend, shake hands with your umpire and say “thanks ump, great job!”