From Brazil to the big time: How two Brazilians mastered umpiring

By Hayley Hinze

Two Brazilian goal umpires have topped off their first season by officiating the QFAW Division 2 North Grand Final, between Hinterland and Ipswich last weekend.

University students Aline Leonel and Juliana Almeida Magelhaes began their AFL experience in 2019 and had only umpired nine matches before their improvement and skill landed them behind the goals at the Grand Final.

At the start of the year, both ladies were recruited from Multicultural Diversity Australia (MDA), and in term attended AFL Queensland’s AIC Umpire Education Program.

Following these programs, the eager recruits were keen to become goal umpires.

 Being new to the game, both umpires had a lot of learning to do before their first game.

Umpire Development Coordinator Rohan Briggs said everything was learnt from scratch.

“We started with a blank canvas,” Briggs said.

“Bringing the education back to basics, like learning the laws of the game, while upskilling them in the craft of goal umpiring.”

Now, confident and excited to make their debut, Aline and Juliana officiated their first match on a cold Friday night during a QFA Division 4 game.

Under the guidance of Briggs and fellow goal umpire Ashleigh Thomson, the Brazilian recruits were running on adrenaline; not even stopping for a jacket in the crisp 11 degree weather.

Almeida Magelhaes said the best part of her umpiring journey to date was learning the craft at training and learning the general vocabulary umpires and players use during games. 

 Throughout the season they continued to officiate numerous Colts and QAFLW matches, where they caught the attention of umpire coaches.

 Assuming their season had ended for the year, Aline and Juliana were ecstatic to hear their names announced three weeks before the big game.

Both umpires did an excellent job on the day and were awarded Grand Final umpire medallions.


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