As one of two new goal umpires to join the AFL list in Queensland, Jesse Baird is keen for season 2020 to start so that he can get out and strut his stuff on the big stage.

Like many others who started out in umpiring, Jesse felt it was a great way to earn some extra cash on weekends plus it allowed him to improve his level of fitness for playing.  Jesse played for Diamond Creek Junior Football Club for 9 years and 2 years senior football with the Diamond Creek Football Club in the Northern Football and Netball League.

He started umpiring in 2011 whilst in Melbourne and continued until moving to Brisbane for work at the beginning of 2017.  When he arrived in Brisbane, Jesse had every intention of playing football again, but he didn’t want to get injured for work, so he made the more prudent decision to fully focus on goal umpiring.   

Jesse’s achievements include the NFNL Division 1 Senior Grand Final in 2015, the 2018 Under 18’s National Carnival, the AFL grand final curtain raiser in 2018, and the 2018 and 2019 NEAFL grand finals.  His career highlight has been the two state-league grand finals.

Jesse finds it incredible to be umpiring alongside AFL list umpires in Queensland. By observing their level of professionalism and their commitment to training is certainly something that has helped Jesse over the last 3 years.  Influential people on his career to date include current AFL Queensland Goal Umpire Coach Garry Downes and also Neville Coutts, who is the current game record holder in the NFNL. His advice for upcoming umpires is to believe in yourself and believe that getting to AFL level is possible, provided you are willing to accept that it requires hard work and persistence.

Jesse graduated from Loyola College in Watsonia in 2015 and is currently employed as a Network 10 presenter on the National Children’s show ‘Totally Wild’.  Jesse competes in water-ski racing and his interests include water-skiing, motor bike riding, swimming, going to the beach and grabbing a meal with mates.

All the best Jesse for the year ahead.  Enjoy the experience!

Article written by: AFLUA Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Peter Kelly

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