After starting his goal umpiring career with the SAAFL in 2010, Rhys Negerman enjoyed immediate success umpiring the Division 3 grand final in his first year. In 2011, he progressed to the SANFL and umpired the Under 16 and Under 18 grand finals before being elevated to the senior squad in 2012. He umpired the 2012 and 2014 grand finals and just missed out in 2013, being appointed as emergency for the grand final.
In 2015 he umpired his first league final game and then umpired the 2015, 2018, 2019 and 2021 SANFL grand finals before being appointed to the AFL list in 2022.
Rhys had a passion for footy whether it was playing or umpiring and at a young age wanted to earn some pocket money. He originally chose field umpiring and completed the basic umpires’ course but after experiencing umpiring in the goals at his cousin’s school footy games decided goal umpiring was for him.
With several grand finals under his belt, Rhys chose the 2018 one as his career highlight to date. The game was very high scoring and close all day and he got to umpire alongside best mate Matt Cummins.
Rhys thinks the standard of footy in the SANFL is second only to the AFL and feels the experience of umpiring footy at this level provides a good stepping stone to the AFL. Rhys loves to set goals at the start of each season and then commits to achieving them.
A graduate from Henley High School, Rhys is now employed as an Appliance Technician at Prestige Appliance Repair Centre. His hobbies include building and collecting Lego including Lego Star Wars sets both old and new and working out at the gym. He is an avid movie watcher with Harry Potter, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings at the top of his charts.
Rhys was the recipient of the 2015 Most Improved Goal Umpire award and the 2018 Golden Flags award. His advice to up and coming umpires is to always enjoy what you are doing, listen to your peers and coaches and incorporate what they say into your matchday planning and execution.
Rhys has big shoes to fill with Steve Axon’s retirement at the end of the 2021 season. Welcome aboard Rhys and we wish you all the best for the year ahead.