Western Campus Underway

In addition to our main base at Elsternwick Park, the VAFA provides training opportunities in the West and North-East.

Our long-running, tight-knit Western Training campus resumes for 2019 this Wednesday 20 February, once again under the guidance of Terry Gunn. We have been fortunate to once again secure the use of the oval at Westbourne Grammar School, which provides us with excellent facilities.

Training is every Wednesday from 6pm at the ovals at the back of Westbourne Grammar School, 300 Sayers Road Truganina.

Any and all umpires are welcome to join the Western group for their training and famous social events!

For those in the North-East, our Koonung Reserve training commences on the 18th of March – keep an eye out for more info!

2019 Development Mentors Announced

We all know that joining a new club can be a daunting experience with much to learn. To help smooth this process for our 2019 recruits, we have named 6 Development Mentors who have recently been through the development system and are now umpiring senior football.

2019 Development Mentors. From left: Ben Wells, Will Houston, Tom O’Connor, Matteo Barba, Shaun Bourke (Absent – Harry Warmington)

Our mentors will not only act as an initial point of contact and someone to help with introductions, but will also be available to provide umpiring advice on stepping up the grades.

We congratulate these members for being selected to support our new umpires, and say thank you to them for giving up their time.

New umpires – please feel free to reach out to any of these umpires on the training track for any questions you might have!

VAFA Umpires in the AFLW!

We haven’t had to wait long to see our alumni making waves in the AFLW!

Peter Bailes and Jack Stammers will be keeping each other company as Emergency Field and Goal Umpires for tomorrow night’s season opener between Geelong and Collingwood at GMHBA.

On Sunday, Andrew Heffernan officiates in the field in North Hobart, while Tope Adepoyibi waves the flags in Melbourne v Fremantle at Casey. Tope umpired with us in the VAFA in 2017, and you can read more about her fascinating path to the VFL/AFLW here.

Congratulations to all of these umpires on their appointments this week!

With an extensive list of former VAFA umpires officiating at AFL, AFLW and VFL level, there’s no better place to umpire to reach your dreams. Join Us!

Tope Adepoyibi umpires in the NT – no pockets for the scorecard and pens! (Photo courtesy Umpire AFL)
Peter Bailes, Daniel Silfo and Anthony Edmonds after their 2014 Grand Final.
Former VAFA umpire Jack Stammers (far right) officiates the TAC Girls Grand Final with fellow ex-VAFA umpires Josh Ball (5th from Left) and Adrian Pretorius (6th from left) (Photo courtesy AFLPhotos).

The Baby Bonus Continues

Congratulations to Daniel Simons and his wife Steph on the birth of their daughter Avery Rachel on the 28th of December! All three are doing well, and it was great to see Daniel at our first training session of the year. He’s looking forward to father/daughter matches already!

Daniel and Steph Simons with daughter Avery

Avery joins an illustrious list of umpiring offspring in what has been a busy offseason, where we welcomed Jacob John Silfo, Harper Paige Nicholson and Grace Lily Damen.

Coaching Panels Announced!

Earlier today Umpire Operations Manager Haydn O’Connor revealed the new-look coaching panels for 2019, with two notable recruits joining our ranks.

In the Field, Tony Hales continues as the Premier Squad coach, and Guy Hexter remains in charge of the Development Squad. The Senior Squad (catering for most umpires of Senior football outside of the Premier group) will be led by new recruit Peter Marshall.

Peter joins the VAFA with a wealth of umpiring and coaching experience. As an umpire he officiated at the highest level, and as an administrator has acted as the Director of Umpiring at both the Southern Football Netball League and Southern Umpires Association (MPNFL). He also serves as a match-day observer for the VFL.

Peter will be well supported by Senior Assistants Mark Gibson and Peter James – both highly credentialed umpires and coaches in their own right.

On the Boundary, Ryan O’Shea continues in his role as Senior Boundary coach, with Asha Hinton continuing in her role as Senior Assistant coach. To further develop our boundary ranks, we are privileged to welcome Andrew Leggo, joining Jack Punshon as development coaches. Andrew is fresh from the VFL, having officiated over 100 VFL Senior matches, and will bring this experience to the development of our up and coming umpires.

In the Goals it is ‘business as usual’, with Bernie Jephson returning as Senior coach, supported by Development coaches Shane Herbert and Charlie May

Umpires can expect to have a much closer interaction with their squad coach in 2019 under the new structure, with more to be revealed as the pre-season gets underway. These coaches are here to help you, and we encourage you to get down to training and use the coaching resources provided to help develop and improve your umpiring performances.

We are extremely lucky to have coaches of this calibre supporting our umpires throughout all disciplines and divisions. We have long claimed that we have the best coaches in the umpiring world, and the addition of Peter and Andrew will ensure this quality of training is available to all umpires within the group.

For more, you can read Haydn’s article here.