Former AFL field umpire, Gary Fila, has joined AFL Queensland as the State Umpire Manager.
Fila has umpired 48 AFL games, between 2007 and 2013, and has a long umpiring history with the SANFL.
In his new role, Fila will oversee the development of the state’s NEAFL and QAFL umpires, with the view to giving them the best possible chance of making the AFL ranks, as well as ensuring there is a clear pathway through community football to elite umpiring.
The former SANFL umpire replaces Cameron Nash, who has become the AFL Victoria Umpires Manager.
Last season, Fila volunteered his time assisting the SANFL umpiring department with recruitment campaigns, liaising with schools to entice more young people to pick up the whistle.
Originally planning to head back to the SANFL and strive towards umpiring his 200th SANFL game, he opted to instead head down the coaching path in 2014.
Fila will draw on his experiences mentoring and developing umpires in the SANFL as he takes on the role of coaching Queensland’s top flight officials.
Only giving up umpiring at the end of last season, Mr Fila has a strong understanding of the demands on high level umpires, and will take an active role in training and drills throughout the year.
AFL Queensland CEO Michael Conlan said he was delighted with the appointment.
“Gary is a great addition to the Umpiring Department here in Queensland,” he said.
“ Given his extensive experience within a high performance environment with the SANFL and the AFL, he is fully aware of what it takes to get to the top and will be able to instil that into our NEAFL and QAFL Umpiring Group.’
‘His background in his non-umpiring portfolio in Business Development will be beneficial in leading our Umpiring Department.”