By Ant Wingard @AntWingard
Image: Highflyer Images
Cameron Manthey has capped off a remarkable 2018 season in the green by claiming the QAFL/NEAFL Golden Whistle at the 2018 Grand Final Umpire awards on Tuesday night.
Manthey claimed the umpire’s top prize following a breakout campaign where the 21-year-old catapulted up the umpiring ranks and now finds himself among the state’s top umpires.
A regular at QAFL Reserves level in 2017, Manthey made the transition straight to NEAFL level in 2018 where he made twelve appearances after his debut in the Grand Final rematch between Brisbane and Sydney in Round 2.
The Golden Whistle is the top honour for an umpire and recognises an individual’s performances throughout the year and is voted upon by umpiring staff and coaches.
After winning his first Golden Whistle in front of a sizeable crowed at Griffith Moorooka’s Alexander Park, Manthey was proud to join the esteemed group of past winners, but even he was surprised by his rapid ascent up the umpiring ranks.
“Being my first year, it’s probably one of the biggest ones that I’ve gotten. It’s been a big step up to get into the NEAFL,” he told aflq.com.au.
“I always aspired to get to this level but the speed in which it happened is something I didn’t expect.”
Manthey graduated from the AFL Queensland State Umpiring Academy at the end of last season where he was promoted to the NEAFL panel after a successful trial.
According to Manthey, the academy was an opportunity to improve his craft and was crucial in his development as an umpire.
“The Academy was a really good chance to learn about what it is to be high performance and what it takes to get to that next level,” he said.
“They really push you to get the best out of yourself and that gets you noticed and gets you going places. The Academy was the stepping stone and it worked out for me.”
Sunshine Coast youngster Jake Edgar was awarded the Community Golden Whistle after he too produced a stellar 2018 season at the community level.
At just 16, Edgar proved wise beyond his years in what was his first genuine season officiating senior level.
His season culminated in appointments to the QFA Division 1 Reserves Grand Final umpiring panel and the Under 15 National Schoolboys Championships.
This season was just his fourth season as an umpire but Edgar, who stills plays football with Maroochydore, still needs to decide which avenue he will go down in the future.
AFL Queensland 2018 Grand Final Umpire Awards
AFL Queensland Most Promising NEAFL / QAFL Field Umpire – Sam Whetton
AFL Queensland Most Promising Community Field Umpire – Henry Harris
AFL Queensland Most Promising NEAFL / QAFL Boundary Umpire – Ty Duncan
AFL Queensland Most Promising Community Boundary Umpire – Bailey Traill
AFL Queensland Most Promising NEAFL / QAFL Goal Umpire – Jesse Barid
AFL Queensland Most Promising Community Goal Umpire – Robert Angus
AFL Queensland Appointments Board Umpire of the Year – Tristan Symes
AFL Queensland Community Umpire of the Year – Zach Shurko
AFL Queensland Martin Hopp Academy Umpire of the Year – Mitchell Blashak
AFL Queensland S.G Doran Most Dedicated Umpire – Cameron Valenti
AFL Queensland Community Golden Whistle Award – Jake Edgar
AFL Queensland NEAFL / QAFL Gold Whistle Award – Cameron Manthey