Rounds 17 and 18 of the ongoing AFL Season saw three more field umpires make their debuts. Cameron Jones, Peter Bailes and Harrison Birch got the nod and were awarded their respective heritage numbers.
Cameron’s journey into umpiring had begun with the East Fremantle Junior District, before his appointment to the WAFL in 2016. His subsequent rise to the AFLW competition has yielded 13 career matches so far. He was promoted to the AFL List in 2023.
In the WAFL, Cameron was recognised as the 2018 WAFL Rising Star and the 2022 WAFL Field Umpire of the Year (Montgomery Medallist). He also umpired in the 2022 WAFL Grand Final.
Having commenced umpiring with the South Metro Junior Football League and VAFA, Peter has become a familiar name within the VFL and the VFLW competitions. During his time, he umpired 62 VFL, 8 VFLW, 22 TAC Boys, 8 VFL Reserve matches, and the 2018 TAC Boys Grand Final. He joined the AFL Rookies List in 2019, before being promoted to the AFL List ahead of the 2023 season.
Peter is also one of the more experienced field umpires in the AFLW competition, having umpired in 34 career AFLW matches.
Harrison started his umpiring career in 2011 with the Essendon District Football League, winning the EDFL Golden Whistle in 2017. He was appointed to the VFL in 2018 and umpired 45 VFL, 24 TAC Boys, 7 VFLW and 4 TAC Girls matches. He also umpired in the 2019 VFLW Grand Final and 6 AFLW matches before his promotion to the AFL List in 2023.
Congratulations, Cameron, Peter and Harrison, on your well-deserved debuts. We wish you the best going forward.