Pullinger to debut at Festival of Football

By Grant Hitzman

Touted as one of the best young umpires in the country, ex-AFL Cairns senior umpire, Meg Pullinger, will make her Brisbane debut this Saturday at the Moreton Bay Festival of Football.

Pullinger, who was recently appointed as a trainee for AFL Queensland’s Brisbane North region, is one of the many talented young female umpires progressing through the AFL ranks.

The Cairns teenager began her career as boundary umpire in the Under 16 and Under 18 competitions before transitioning to field umpiring.

Her consistent performances and excellent decision-making led to a rapid rise through the reserves, before her senior debut in 2013.

The achievement entered Pullinger into the AFL Cairns history books as the first female senior field umpire in the league’s history.

Pullinger has enjoyed umpiring success at junior, youth girls and women’s levels and credits a great deal of her achievements to her umpiring experiences in Cairns.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time in Cairns, the support system has been excellent – with me being female – and they’ve worked hard to get me into a lot of different things,” Pullinger said.

“Because of their support I’ve been lucky enough to attend state carnivals and academy games, and I’ve gone to three national championships for under 18 girls and women’s competitions.”

Pullinger hinted at lofty ambitions to continue her umpiring pathway and reach new heights in the system.

“I want to get as far as I can with it and learn to do whatever it takes to get as far as possible,” Pullinger said.

She will umpire the women’s Caboolture vs. Narangba clash at this Saturday’s Festival of Football in her first Brisbane appearance.

“I’m really looking forward to the day. It’s going to be a great atmosphere, with christening the new ground and the whole day should be exciting,” Pullinger said.

“The fact that I get to umpire a women’s game is even better.”

The Festival of Football will be held at the new Moreton Bay Central Sports Complex – AFL Precinct, Burpengary, and will feature the Brisbane Lions V Sydney Swans practice match along with a host of other matches and activities.

Gates will open at 10:30am with the Women’s game kicking off at 1:15pm on Oval 2. Full event information and tickets can be found at http://www.moretonbay.qld.gov.au/burpengaryafl/

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