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Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Umpires off to officiate on new turf

Three Goulburn Valley Football Umpires Association members will be running in unfamiliar territory this weekend when they will officiate in Ballarat as part of an exchange.

MATTHEW GALEA June 13, 2014 3:10am

Goulburn Valley Football Umpires Association has revived the old concept of umpire exchange this weekend.

Three GVFUA umpires will travel to Ballarat to officiate in Ballarat Football League, while three umpires from Ballarat Football Umpires Association will umpire the Shepparton-Rochester game at Deakin Reserve.

Central umpire David Barker, boundary umpire Jack Tonkes and goal umpire Charlie Zampaglione will go to Ballarat.

GVFUA umpires adviser Chris McCallum said the concept was not a new one, but one that was being resurrected.

‘‘We’ve done several exchanges in the past with the likes of Footscray, Bendigo and Ballarat, but it’s fallen by the wayside a bit,’’ McCallum said.

‘‘It’s a bit difficult to co-ordinate, but I got talking to the Ballarat umpires adviser at an umpiring course in Melbourne and he expressed an interest in reviving it a bit.’’

McCallum said the experience was a rewarding one for both sides and helped expose umpires to different standards of football and potentially earn themselves a call up to a higher level of umpiring.

‘‘It’s good for the boys to go and umpire footy outside this area,’’ McCallum said.

‘‘I’ve umpired here for 28 years, but prior to that I’ve been with three different associations and even when I was with the VFL, we used to do all the different leagues all the time.

‘‘These guys will get to work with umpires who they might work with later in other associations.’’

McCallum said the three umpires coming to Deakin were senior umpires in their association.

‘‘We were advised that they’re senior members of their panels and highly accomplished,’’ McCallum said.

‘‘We’ve put them on our premier ground at Deakin Reserve, so it should be great for all.’’

Barker and Tonkes said they were looking forward to the experience, as it was something neither had done before.

‘‘I’ve done some interleague, but never an exchange like this,’’ Barker said.

‘‘It’ll be good to see another standard of football and umpiring, so it’s just an opportunity to do something different.’’

‘‘I want to try and make it to VFL, so I put my hand up,’’ Tonkes said.

‘‘It puts your name out there a bit more, so I’m looking forward to it.’’

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