By Byron Parish
QAFL Grand Final field umpire, Alex Whetton, has been accepted into the 2015 allocation for the Australian Sporting Commission (ASC) National Officiating Scholarship Program.
Whetton umpired NEAFL games in 2014 and was rewarded for his hard work with the QAFL Grand Final position.
Commencing his umpiring career as a junior with the AFL Brisbane Juniors, he quickly moved up the umpiring ranks.
Selection in 2010 in the AFL Development Squad brought a more serious aspect to his umpiring, bridging the gap between junior and senior football.
Whettons career highlight came in 2012, when he was honored with a trip to South Africa on a two week AFL tour with the All-Australian Under 15 team.
Alex became the second youngest umpire to officiate in the field in round 2 of the 2013 NEAFL season.
Whetton attributes his success to those around him, saying that his time so far has provided him with some invaluable experience.
“Being the youngest on the panel I had a very steep learning curve in both the 2013 and 2014 season,” said Whetton.
“However the support of Queensland Umpire manager Gary Fila gave me the resilience to get back to the top, culminating in my appointment to the 2014 QAFL Grand Final alongside previous AIS scholarship winner Matt Young.”
Whetton aims to use this scholarship to learn from senior umpires James Waldroff and Brett Konk – both AFL listed rookie umpires.
Alex joins 22 other successful applicants across Australia from an array of sports, linking with 3 others from an AFL background.