Junior Umpires Hit the Big Stage

As part of the AFL’s Community Umpiring Week, a number of initiatives will be taking place across the state and territory to celebrate the contribution of Umpires at a grassroots level.

State and territory-wide, community football teams will pause to recognise the work of Umpires within the footy community. Teams will shake the hands of match officials prior to each game – a gesture not usually seen until after the siren.

In Sydney, four lucky young Umpires from the AFL Sydney Juniors competition will lead the senior AFL Umpires onto the SCG this Sunday.

The match between the Sydney Swans and Brisbane Lions will see the four junior Umpires participate in a full match day experience.

The lucky Umpires selected include Angela Vassallo, Ben Cook, Elyria Cook and Matthew Pines. The aim of this initiative is to provide an insight into a day-in-the-life of an AFL grade official, with the hope of inspiring the next crop of talent.

The junior Umpires will have the chance to meet with the AFL umpires pre-game, sit in on their match planning session, and then walk out on to the field to present the match ball.

Angela Vassallo is a second year Umpire who has been developing quickly, and is impressing the coaches and teams she has been involved with. Her work with the Moore Park Tigers Junior AFL Club is being rewarded with a chance to be in the thick of the action this weekend.

Taking place on the hallowed turf of the SCG, this opportunity for the foursome is seen as a once-in-a-lifetime experience – until they one day make it on their own.

If you or someone you know would like to get involved in community umpiring, check out the Get In The Game website.