The AFL has recently promoted boundary umpire Ben Fely to the NSW panel for season 2022.
Ben, who resides in Canberra, took up boundary umpiring because he wasn’t the best of players but wanted to be around the game. Like many of us, he enjoyed the pocket money and being paid to keep fit.
Ben has enjoyed success in recent years having umpired the NEAFL grand final in 2017, 2018 and 2019 and the AFLW grand final in 2021. Like many football competitions, the AFLW and VFL have been disrupted in recent years, but Ben has adapted to the changing circumstances and remained focused on reaching his goal of umpiring at AFL level.
Ben has been required to commute from Canberra to Sydney to umpire in the newly expanded VFL competition. He has also travelled widely with the AFLW competition which has helped him develop good travel routines and to learn how to be flexible.
Ben loves the adrenaline rush he gets from running and tries to better himself, so he is prepared to be the best of the team he is umpiring alongside. His words of advice to up and coming umpires are to enjoy the moment and use your experiences to learn, whether they be good or bad.
A former barista, Ben loves finding new and interesting coffee beans and is always open to new suggestions. He is currently employed as a Learning Support Assistant at a primary school in Canberra and is in his 3rd year of a Bachelor of Education (Primary) which he hopes to have completed by the end of 2022. His interests include travel, bike riding, the beach, surfing and trying different foods.
Congratulations Ben – welcome to the team for season 2022.