Five ex-AFL players will be on the other side of the fence this year when they take up the whistle for Goulburn Valley Football Umpires' Association.DAMEN FRANCIS January 24, 2014 4:15am
Jason Wild, Derek Hall and Paul Brown are among a handful of ex-AFL players picking up a whistle for Goulburn Valley Football Umpires’ Association this season.
Between them, they have played more than 750 AFL games, now Paul Brown, Jason Wild, Anthony Stevens, Craig Sholl and Derek Hall are out to help change the perception of those keeping them in line all those years.
The quintet, along with ex-AFL umpires Shane McDonald and David Ackland, have joined Goulburn Valley Football Umpires’ Association for the upcoming season.
Every week the association provides officials to the Goulburn Valley, Murray, Picola District, Kyabram District and Shepparton District Junior football leagues and while numbers are always an issue, of particular concern at the moment is the gap between junior umpires and senior umpires.
Not only do the new faces help push the number of umpires at the association’s disposal closer to its season target of 200, but their aim is to help encourage ex-footballers from all levels to pick up a whistle when their playing days have come to an end.
‘‘Everyone always says they’ll never be an umpire, but it’s not the worst thing in the world to be involved with,’’ Brown said.
‘‘You’re still involved with the footy and hopefully we can change the attitude a little bit.’’
Hall, who played 74 games for the Cats between 1995-2000, before going on to don the jumper for Mooroopna and Katandra, said there were plenty of ex-players out there who should consider taking up umpiring as a way of returning to or staying involved in the game.
‘‘After 20 years of football I just needed a break, but after three years I’m happy to commit a bit now,’’ Hall said.
‘‘They’ve talked about a shortage (of umpires) for a few years and if us turning up can impact on getting a few more blokes here to help umpires then that’s great.’’
Association president Darren Meek said the association had worked closely with the AFL Goulburn Murray regional commission to find ways to lift the profile of umpiring and he was delighted to have the support of such well-respected football identities.
‘‘A lot of people always say your best umpires are your ex-players,’’ Meek said.
‘‘They’ve got a good feel for the game and if we can get those guys to come down it’s hopefully going to get other people who have just retired from the game or are injured or whatever and can’t play anymore involved.’’
The association’s first training session of the season was last night at Chas Johnson Reserve and is on Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6
An elderly man disturbed a woman in his backyard on Wednesday morning after she allegedly attempted to break into his Shepparton home, a police officer says.
The under 16 Pigeons kick started the YFNC's finals campaign with a resounding victory over the Paul Spargo led Scots College in the Grand Final of the AWJFL Elwyn Langford Shield at the Albury Sports Ground on Sunday.
Greater Shepparton City Council was successful in securing the National Cutting Horse Association Victorian Futurity Cutting Horse Championships for 2014 and 2015, with this year’s event scheduled from September 10-14 at Tatura Park.
Echuca Horticultural Society will host its Spring Flower Show today and tomorrow.
Julie Sands and Sheridan Clark have been kept busy, visiting Rochester recently yo dispense free coats to residents.
Book Week gets colourful turnout.
Deaprtment of Environment and Primary Industries unhappy about Mt Disappointment vandals.
Jerilderie Shire deputy mayor Ruth McRae handed the key over for the new Rural Fire Service station last Friday.
Farmers have a new weapon in the fight against mice.
Cobram supermarket seeks $10 million expansion, increasing by about a third into adjacent car park area.
Public interest to determine Deniliquin Town Hall refurbishment.
Milk co-operative, Murray Goulburn has posted a record financial result, recording an after tax profit of $29 million.
The Benalla Indian Myna Action Group will pay a $1 per bird bounty on live birds delivered to CAL farm. National Party MP Bill Sykes donated $100 to fund the bounty.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.