Esperance District Football Association look for new umpires

Esperance District Football Association are calling on passionate AFL football fans with a working knowledge of the game to help umpire.

The Association’s Umpire coach and coordinator Chris Oversby said they were looking for people interested in coming along, learning the craft and working their way up.

“Of course, if there are other people in the community who have umpired previously and would like to umpire a higher grade, we’re more than happy to have those people jump on board,” he said.

“Essentially, you have to have a reasonable level of fitness and a working knowledge of AFL Football.

“We’d be more than happy to take people all of the way through until the end of the season and work with them to achieve their goals.”

Mr Oversby said the Association would assist in the ‘nitty gritty’ but umpires needed to know the rules of the game.

“The players need to know enough to play, the coaches need to know enough to coach but the umpires need to know enough to adjudicate the game and make sure that no one gets hurt,” he said.

“We need to ensure it is a safe environment for people.”

Currently, 14 of the 20 necessary positions are filled, with seven or eight additional umpires required to compensate for those who are away, injured or unavailable.

Mr Oversby said the most enjoyable part of umpiring was the fact that he could go to any given club and interact with people from all of the clubs.

“We [umpires] all feel very comfortable at all of the clubs, going into the club rooms after and socialising and having a beverage with the supporters and the players,” he said.

“The fitness that you get out of it, the social aspect of it and, of course, the remuneration you get for umpiring the games are best benefits.”

The first home and away game of football in Esperance starts on Anzac Day, April 25, with the Association preseason beginning towards the end of March.

To apply, contact Esperance Districts Football Association via their facebook page or call Chris Oversby directly on 0427422084.