The AFL Umpires Association would like to congratulate Cameron Manthey on being awarded the 2023 AFL Queensland Umpire of the Year last Sunday. He now joins four-time winner Andrew Stephens and two-time winner Andrew Adair as the only active umpires across the AFL and AFLW to have received the award.
For Cameron, being honoured as Queensland’s top umpire came as a welcome surprise.
“To be honest, I was a bit shocked. It wasn’t something I was expecting to win this season and I actually wasn’t even in the room to receive it so that made it even more interesting.”
“I was sitting down in Melbourne… and I got a phone call from the umpiring manager up [in Queensland] telling me that I was going to win an award and to stand by my phone and wait for his phone call.”
A standout in the state competition across many years, including a Golden Whistle in 2018, Cameron’s elite standards of umpiring have earnt him the opportunity to umpire in the AFLW, now with 13 games under his belt.
Most recently, he umpired the round seven dreamtime clash between traditional rivals Richmond and Essendon, that saw Essendon win by 17 points at IKON Park. Opportunities like this–to umpire at the game’s second highest level–aren’t wasted on him.
“I think AFLW is the closest thing you can get to the AFL umpiring experience… You’re travelling, you’re umpiring with different people each week from all over the country, you’re umpiring the best women’s players that there are going around.”
But, coming off a strong year at the state level and his current work in the AFLW, he’s more motivated than ever to break into the highest echelon of umpiring—officiating AFL Men’s.
“The hunger’s there more than ever. Just based on having a good year this year, I got my first chance to do the state league finals and managed to get through to a prelim final which was special.”
“I can hopefully push deep into the [AFLW] finals campaign as well. So, the desire and the hunger is definitely there to keep aspiring and pushing to grow and get to the next level.”
We once again congratulate Cameron on his fantastic year, thank him for being such an involved member of the AFLUA, and continue to offer support over his umpiring journey and beyond.
Article By Jackson Kerr