Angus McKenzie-Wills is one of four new AFL goal umpires joining the AFL ranks in 2016, having originally started as a field umpire in 2006, before switching to the twin flags in 2009. Having been part of the inaugural NEAFL goal umpires’ list in 2011, Angus has officiated in 96 NEAFL games, including 10 finals whilst also participating in the Under 16 Nationals in 2010 and the Under 18 Nationals in 2012 and 2015.
Angus has no illusions about the huge step up from NEAFL to AFL, “NSW may not have the history nor the umpiring infrastructure of other states, but it is starting to build something which is unique.” He cites Frank Dicosmo as an example of someone who moved to Sydney and officiated in the AFL Sydney Premier Division and NEAFL, “Frank was very influential in my early career, given his technical knowledge of goal umpiring.”
Another influential person has been Sergio Villagra, who was the only AFL goal umpire in Sydney from 2007 to 2013. “Sergio was a bit of a trail blazer in Sydney, he umpired AFL footy and is now the Sydney based AFL goal umpires coach. He has been a terrific support to me during my career to date.”
Angus is motivated by his desire to get the best out of himself, week in week out. He understands that the toughest part of goal umpiring is mental application and staying focused for the whole game. “You have got to love doing what you’re doing. If you do, it makes umpiring all the more enjoyable.” He cites the 2015 NEAFL Grand Final as one of his career highlights, in front of a crowd of 6,000 spectators.
Angus has a keen interest in politics, having worked in NSW Premier Mike Baird’s electorate office as an advisor since February 2014. To relax, he enjoys 60’s, 70’s and 80’s music and has a taste for craft beers.
Article written by: AFLUA Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Peter Kelly