A League Of His Own


Local teenager Adrian Jones has experienced the opportunity of a lifetime, making his debut as a boundary umpire in a Victorian Football League (VFL) game recently.

The Penola Catholic College student was the boundary umpire for the Sydney Swans and Williamstown Seagulls VFL game, held in June at Blacktown International Sports Park.

VFL is an Australian rules football league that serves as one of the second-tier competitions underneath the Australian Football League (AFL). Teams from New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria make up the league.

“I got the late call up on the Friday before the game, asking if I was available to do it. I was in such shock that I had been given the opportunity to umpire in the VFL” explained an excited Adrian.

“The quality and speed of football was so different to what I had umpired before. It took a little bit of getting used to and adapting, but once I got it, I felt like I really fit in. Everyone on the umpiring panel were great. They were supportive, helped one another out and the atmosphere was amazing” he continued.

Adrian’s feat as a boundary umpire in an VFL game was made even more impressive, considering he only took up umpiring just five years ago.

“When I first started umpiring, I took it up because I didn’t really enjoy playing, but I loved the sport and thought it was a great opportunity to increase my fitness levels. Beginning as a field umpire in junior footy, I soon moved to boundary umpiring. After meeting some of the other umpires who were doing it, it motivated me to push myself to where I am today,” said Adrian.

Now that he has tasted officiating at this level, Adrian hopes to one day become a boundary umpire in the AFL.

“Being listed to the AFL is a long-term goal that I have set myself and it is definitely achievable. I still have a long way to go because everyone at the VFL/AFL level is at such a high standard from skills to fitness. After the VFL games I have done and the feedback that I have received, I am going to use that to develop my umpiring” he stated.

He believes that umpiring is for anyone that enjoys sport and keeping fit.

“There is a discipline for everyone, whether it’s field umpiring, boundary umpiring or goal umpiring. You get to meet great people, increase your fitness level, and focus on a job whilst earning money” he ended.

To learn more, you can visit Dukes Oval in Emu Plains at 6:45pm on Monday nights during the season.

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