Season 2015 has been a successful year for football umpiring in the Southern Football Netball League. On Wednesday night over 200 people celebrated the season at the SFNL Umpiring Grand Finals Appointments and Awards night.
Director of Umpiring for the Southern Football Netball League, Peter Mair, thanked all stakeholders from across the league who have assisted with delivery of the umpiring program, including the SFNL Board and Administration, the Umpiring Department coaching team, the SFNL Umpires Association, all Umpires, Presidents, Coaches, Captains and Players.
A number of Awards were presented during the evening.
AFL Victoria Umpire Development Manager, Neville Nash, presented the Golden Whistle Award to Matthew Mahoney. The Golden Whistle Award is an encouragement award for an Umpire in the formative stages of their umpiring career, who displays a clear desire to pursue an umpiring career in community and possibly the next level.
Mitchell Lea was awarded the Most Dedicated Umpire, for excellence in preparation and training.
Best First Year Umpire awards went to Riley Webster (Field), Kobe Davies (Boundary) and Sam Rogers (Goal).
Scott Learmonth (Field), Simon O’Loughlin (Boundary) and Patrick Aurish (Goal) won awards for Most Improved Umpires.
Kevin Mitchell won the prestigious Graeme Bertram Award which is a combined Umpiring Department / Umpires Association Award for ongoing excellence on the field and for making a major contribution to the Umpires Association off the field.
Best Club Person was awarded to Kaye Johnson.
A number of Umpires were awarded Life Membership of the Umpires Association, while several Umpires were recognised for milestone games.
Carmel & Nigel Thompson and Michael Ellison-Jones (EJ) were recognised for by the Umpires Association for their contribution to community football.
The evening concluded with the announcement of the 2015 Grand Final Umpires across all grades.