From a young seventeen-year-old to finding himself on the 2020 AFL Umpires List, Sam Stagg has come in leaps and bounds to ensure his spot for the 2020 season. 

For an idea to stay fit, earn money and stay involved in footy, it’s fair to say this idea has well and truly paid off.

The Bendigo Umpires’ Association paved the way for Sam’s success where he first umpired the 2011 Loddon Valley Senior Grand Final and then went on to umpire the 2012 & 2013 Bendigo Football League Grand Finals.

These appointments led to Sam moving up the ranks to the VFL, where he started in 2014.  His first senior match was between Bendigo vs Richmond. Fast forward to 2019 where Stagg has experienced his career highlights in umpiring the 2019 VFL Grand Final as well as being recognised as the VFL’s Boundary Umpire of the Year.

During his time in the VFL Sam noted that the support he’d received from the VFUA, along with the facilities at Vic Park being second to none. Being able to umpire an elite standard of football every week with 10 AFL aligned clubs was a thrill.

The ex-Bendigo Senior Secondary College student said that his motivations through the VFL was always to be a part of the finals panel and to one day make the AFL. Now that Sam has made the AFL, he’s striving to umpire his first game and to then umpire as many games as possible during the 2020 season.

For up and coming umpires Sam said enjoy the journey and have fun, don’t take things too seriously and come prepared after a good pre-season.

Something you may not know about Sam is that he knows the American, United Kingdom and New Zealand national anthems.

We wish Sam all the best for the year ahead.

Article written by: AFLUA Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Peter Kelly and Year 11 Work Experience Student, Jackson Sleep

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