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The OpenCorp South Metro Junior Football League (SMJFL) Umpire Academy launched this upcoming season with it’s annual Welcome Back Week training session at Moorleigh Reserve.

Over 100 young SMJFL umpires were joined by AFL Umpires Nick Brown and Nick Foot, for a final tune up before Round 1 this Sunday.

“Tonight, was great,” said Brown.

“To see so many young guys and girls, especially the number of girls here, some of whom both play footy and umpire and it’s great to see them involved in both facets of our game.”

“It was great to see so many people down here who are passionate about the game,” Foot added.

“The (SMJFL) Umpire Academy coaches are doing such a good job down here; these young umpires are in good hands.”

Having experienced two consecutive interrupted seasons, there was an excitement in the air throughout the session, with many new faces gearing up to officiate their first games on Sunday.

“It’s so exciting to see all the new and returning umpires on the park, enjoying themselves and getting ready for the upcoming season”, said SMJFL CEO Matthew Brown.

“It’s a credit to our Umpire Administration Coordinator Doug Haworth and his team at the SMJFL Umpire Academy, and a massive thank you to both Nick Brown and Nick Foot for coming along and sharing their invaluable insights.”

The session included umpiring drills and games ran by the coaching staff along with Brown and Foot and AFL Victoria Umpire Growth & Development Coordinator Andrew Talbot, followed by a Q&A session featuring some fantastic, and at times cheeky, questions from the SMJFL Umpires.

“We are all just so ready (for the upcoming season),” said SMJFL Umpire Administration Coordinator Doug Haworth.

“We like to celebrate both the end of pre-season and the beginning of our actual season, so we love putting on nights like these, especially with so many of our umpires getting involved.”

The SMJFL Umpire Academy appoints 414 field and boundary umpires across 145 games every weekend and is always looking to add new members to it’s ranks.

“If you’re interested in umpiring, or know anyone who is, we are always looking for new umpires to join the academy,” Haworth said.

To register with the SMJFL Umpire Academy or for more information, you can contact Doug Haworth at or follow the link below to register:


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