The start to Paul’s umpiring career began when he realised his playing days were over and he still wanted to be involved in the sport. He began as a goal umpire when he was 15 and decided then ‘that he wanted to be a field umpire one day!’ Obviously, a wise career choice for a 15 year old.
After only three years with the VFL, Paul has been appointed as an AFL Rookie umpire for season 2019. He started field umpiring in 2015 at the Southern Umpires’ Association and before you know it, he was knocking on the door at the VFL, joining the VFL Development Field Squad in 2016. In 2017, he umpired his first VFL senior game, quickly establishing himself and soon featured in VFL finals umpiring the 2018 VFL Grand Final at Etihad Stadium.
Whilst the 2018 grand final was a highlight, his most favourite game was the 2018 Preliminary Final between Box Hill and Williamstown. Both Peter Marshall and Cameron Nash have been key influential people in his career as both have installed so much confidence and belief into him.
Paul is motivated by his desire to get better as an individual both as a person and in umpiring. In doing so, his advice to up and coming umpires is to respect your body (recovery and nutrition) and enjoy what you are doing and remember to have fun along the way.
Paul loves the experience of umpiring in Victoria. In VFL games, you are often dealing / managing AFL players which is great experience for someone trying to break into the AFL. The facilities at Victoria Park are also very good and something that can’t be taken for granted. He also enjoys access to great coaches at the VFL and AFL and the fact he is umpiring alongside so many like-minded individuals who are all aiming to be the best umpire they can be.
Paul is employed as a Sales and Purchasing Officer with a timber manufacturing company called Big River Group. He enjoys time on dates with his wife, spending time with their new German Shepherd, camping and supporting Melbourne Victory.
Congratulations Paul on your rapid career to date and we hope you enjoy the experience of being an AFL Rookie during season 2019.
Article written by: AFLUA Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Peter Kelly