There’s a lot of hype around the Melbourne Demons and Brisbane Lions ahead of the NAB AFLW Grand Final on Sunday, however there is another very important team in the midst of preparations – the Umpires.
Queensland boundary umpire Will Morris is part of the team officiating this weekend’s decider.
“I’m pretty excited, on the new facility as well it’s going to be a pretty awesome atmosphere, everyone’s excited it’ll be an awesome day,” Will said.
Will grew up playing Aussie Rules as a kid and first picked up the whistle in 2017 when the Queensland coach, who was also one of his school teachers, noticed he had a talent for running and invited him to training.
“I didn’t think too much about it until one day they were struggling for numbers and he asked me to come down, so I thought I’d give it a crack and went from there,” Will said.
“I had a couple of people at training say I had the potential to push up into higher level stuff if I got to training and learned the ins and outs a bit more.”
Over the next few years Will committed to his craft and fell in love with a different side of footy.
“I had always been a keen runner but only so many people can make it professionally so I thought umpiring might be a bit of a different avenue that I still had an interest in,” he said.
“I shifted my focus from running to umpiring.
“Umpiring’s a good way to stay connected to footy without playing it.”
Will can run up to 20km a game up and down the boundary.
This year he packed almost two seasons worth of games, boundary umpiring 35 matches.
Seven of them finals but this Sunday will be his Grand Final debut.
“This is my seventh final this year so I’m just treating it like any other game, I’ve had decent enough exposure to finals this year so it’s not too daunting,” he said.
Fellow Queensland umpire James Strybos was also named as an emergency field umpire.
Clubs across Queensland are looking for umpires for the #Footy4Fun competitions.
The Umpire4Fun program involves all training, education, support, and ongoing development for club-based umpires officiating U8’s – U10’s.
Club Umpires must be 12 or above in the year they register to be a part of the program.
For more information 👉 www.aflq.com.au/umpiring/