A new development program aims to give umpires a better chance of umpiring AFL.
Queensland umpires will have a clearer path to the AFL, under a revised development pathway announced by AFLQ this week.
The development restructure is reflective of the evolution of the NEAFL since 2011 and aims to improve the standard of umpiring across all levels of football in Queensland.
Following the establishment of the NEAFL Umpire Group, as separate from the broader South East Queensland umpire group, the new NEAFL Development Squad (NDS) has been set up to give community football umpires a greater opportunity to transition to NEAFL umpiring.
The NDS will be made up predominately of umpires who have trialled for NEAFL umpiring spots over 2012 and 2013 but were not selected as NEAFL umpires.
These umpires will receive extra coaching sessions, with a view to developing them into strong NEAFL umpires, and ultimately give them a better shot at the AFL.
Former WAFL and QAFL umpire, Andrew Shepherdson, will coach the NDS.
At a community football level, the former Next Gen Youth and Senior Development squads have merged into one South East Queensland Umpiring Academy, placing the focus on providing promising young umpires with a pathway to SEQAFL umpiring and potentially the NDS.
The South East Queensland Umpiring Academy will be coached by NEAFL umpire, Troy Friend, who has umpired over 250 NEAFL/QAFL matches.
Umpires for this academy will be nominated from the Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Darling Downs and Northern Rivers Junior Leagues.
An entirely new development squad, the Queensland Country Umpiring Academy, is also to be set up in regional Queensland for 2013.
Umpires from Central and North Queensland will receive the same coaching as their South-East counterparts and will have the opportunity to officiate at the U-14 or U-16 Country Championships.
AFLQ Community Umpiring Development Officer, Pierce Field, said the revamped development programs would give Queensland umpires a clear pathway to the AFL.
“It is an exciting time to be an umpire in Queensland” Field said.
“With former VFL Umpire Cameron Nash leading the NEAFL Umpires, former QAFL Umpire Andrew Reeves leading the SEQAFL Community Umpires, and a number of talented coaches in our affiliate leagues, including Mathew James, three-time AFL Grand Final Umpire, Queensland is now in a fantastic position to produce AFL Umpires.”
For an overview of the country development program, click here.
For an overview of the SEQ development program, click here.
If you are interested in taking up umpiring in Queensland, please contact Pierce Field on 07 3033 5439 or email@example.com.