Four junior district umpires got the opportunity to attend the Fremantle Dockers v Western Bulldogs clash at Domain Stadium and watch the AFL umpires in action after recently being selected for the Hendrie Margetts Umpire Development squad.
The squad, made up of 21 junior umpires and led by Head Coach Greg Gilbee, was established to provide professional and personal development opportunities for young aspiring umpires to enable them to progress from junior to senior football through to the WAFL and AFL competitions.
The Hendrie Margetts squad is named after former WAFL and AFL umpire and WANFLUA Hall of Famer Craig Hendrie and Dean Margetts who currently umpires AFL and is employed at the WA Football Commission (WAFC) in the role of Umpire Development Manager.
Perth district umpire Basil Thomas, one of the four lucky umpires who attended the Dockers’ home game, said it was an invaluable experience.
“It was a real insight to see the AFL umpires in action at the game,” Thomas said.
“Observing the way they run, the way they position and manage players, was really invaluable for all of us who attended.
“It was an honour to be selected for the Hendrie Margetts squad and I have learnt so much already.”
The umpire development squad was initially selected by junior district coaches and a final leadership group of 21 was established by the WAFC Umpiring Department following the WA State 16s Development Carnival in October last year.
The squad train with WAFL senior squads during the week and get given the opportunity to umpire Amateur and Women’s football games on the weekends. The squad members have a responsibility to provide leadership to their local junior districts following their experience with the development team.
WAFL Umpire Manager Darryl Sinclair said the squad is a very important step in the development pathway for our young aspiring umpires.
“The squad plays a very important role in developing of our young umpires and it’s a credit to the Junior Districts for implementing the Umpiring Masterplan which we launched last year,” Sinclair said.
“It is important to note that recently Nathan Williamson, who this season was elevated to the AFL National Panel, came through this process and this definitely tells us that it is working.”
For anyone interested in becoming an umpire, please go to www.getinthegame.com.au and register your interest.
Photo: (left to right) Victor Le Tessier (Claremont), Rob Abrahams (East Fremantle), Chris Spencer (Subiaco) and Bail Thomas (Perth) at the Fremantle v Western Bulldogs match at Domain Stadium.