The AFL announced three changes to its 2019 field umpire panel last Friday. The three umpires will replace retired veterans, Justin Schmitt, Troy Pannell and Luke Farmer.
John Howorth is a current VFL umpire who has been a member of the ADP (Advanced Development Program) for the past three years and an AFL Rookie field umpire for the past two seasons. John has umpired 68 VFL senior matches including 9 finals and the VFL Grand Final this season. John began his umpiring career with the Bendigo Umpires’ Association in 2005.
Justin Power umpired the 2016, 2017 and 2018 WAFL Grand Finals and has been on the ADP program for the past two seasons. Justin began umpiring with the West Perth Juniors in 2005. He has umpired 105 senior WAFL games.
Our third field umpire, Leighton Rowe has emerged from the VFL ranks. Leighton was injured after 11 senior VFL matches this season. Consequently his position on the list will depend on his rehabilitation from injury. Leighton has umpired 38 senior VFL matches including one final in 2017 and the 2016 TAC Cup grand final. Leighton has also been a member of the ADP panel for one season.
The AFL has advised that its list management process will continue until the scheduled end date of October 31.