The recently launched AFL South East (AFLSE) Community Umpiring Talent Academy is set to equip a talented breed of young officials with the tools to proceed to higher honours.
The new state-wide initiative will see community umpiring development programs closely linked to NAB League clubs around the state, with AFLSE aligning with Dandenong Stingrays to provide a platform and pathway for our future stars.
Talent identified umpires from AFLSE-SUA – aged between 16 to 21 – will be introduced to a high-performance environment…designed to polish the hidden gems that exist in community football.
A total of 26 umpires from the AFLSE region – comprising of 10 field and boundary, and six goal umpires – will develop their skills via development sessions hosted by AFL and State League umpires, while also officiating at Stingrays practice matches throughout the months of February and March.
The first development session took place at Casey Fields on Sunday, February 9, with AFL Umpires Hayden Gavine, Shane Thiele and Sam Walsh in attendance to pass on their vast range of experience and skills. Further sessions were scheduled for Wednesday 12 and 19 February.
While there are no substitutes for hard work, dedication, and miles in the legs, AFLSE Umpire Development Coordinator Leigh Buwalda believes the new academy will help develop skills and enhance the region’s reputation as a proven breeding ground for elite-level umpires.
“Our region has produced some great umpires over the years and this program aims to identify umpires who are between one to four years away from potential VFL involvement,” Buwalda, the Academy Coordinator, said.
“Umpires will receive direct feedback from high-level talent coaches, and that feedback will be used to upskill the participants in technical areas identified as crucial to taking their craft to the next level.
“It not only opens up great opportunities for umpires to progress through the ranks, but the advanced training will also be beneficial to the quality of umpiring when the academy participants officiate in community football.”
The AFLSE-Stingrays alliance will be one of three in the South East Zone, with both Gippsland Power and Sandringham Dragons having links to regions other than AFLSE. Experienced umpire and coordinator Peter Marshall has been appointed Talent Coordinator for the South East Zone, with Buwalda (Boundary), Dylan Fulton (Field) and Taylah Manning (Goal) being the technical coaches for the AFLSE Academy.
AFLSE-SUA Community Umpiring Talent Academy 2020 Squad
|Kyle Van Raay||Wade Anderson||Josh Dudman Doyle|
|James O’Hagan||Jack Buller||Jacob Brackman|
|Cooper Marriot||Ryan Brown||Laura Brogan|
|Sam Duewel||Mitchell Dorling||Jackson Hamilton|
|James Carver||Declan Brasier||Liam Winter|
|Lachlan Vienna||Daniel Molino||Connor Ahmed|
|Dylan Bennett||Thomas Kreun|
|Jye Stannage||Mitchell Castelli|
|Emily Orford||Liam Spinks|
|Ebony Hunter||Olivia Grcic|