Academy umpires make the grade

The newly revamped AFL Queensland Umpiring Academy is continuing to successfully pave the way for the game’s youngest umpires.  
Round 16 saw the fourth debut of an Academy member in QAFL Seniors this year, with Hayden Quabba from Mackay set to umpire the Palm Beach Currumbin v Sandgate clash on Saturday.
Quabba travelled south with fellow Mackay-based Academy umpire Alexander Finney, who made his debut in the senior Brisbane competition in the QAFL Reserves round beforehand.
Both will be catching up with Academy Coaches and the AFLQ Umpiring Department during their time in Brisbane, and attending the State League Umpire Training on Monday night at Coorparoo.
Quabba and Finney join Cairns-based Liam Kermode as proud North Queensland umpires who have been selected to umpire in the South East this year, alongside SEQ Community umpires Andrew Adair and Sam Somerville.
Quabba and Finney’s senior appointments would not be possible if it weren’t for their hard work and perseverance in the Academy program, as well as great support from the AFL Mackay Umpires Association.
AFLQ Umpire Academy Coordinator Pierce Field is delighted with the great results the Academy has produced so far this season.
“Having four umpires debut in QAFL Seniors in the first year of the Academy is a fantastic result,” he said.
“Our coaching staff – in former AFL Rookie Umpire Aaron Hall and current NEAFL Umpire James Waldorff – have done a mountain of work getting these guys ready for the step up.
“The program will only continue to produce more umpires at QAFL/NEAFL level, and one day, AFL.”

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