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  • 22/06/2018 8:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Umpires Corner – Round 11

    Massive Milestone

    The VAFAUA is proud to congratulate Steve ‘Macca’ McCarthyupon umpiring his 700thVAFA match this week at Ormond, who are taking on the Preston Bullants. Macca’s career in umpiring, both on and off the field, is far too storied to do justice in only a few words, but a few highlights:

    On-field, Macca umpired in A section (Premier) for 22 years, including 1 A-Section, 2 B-Section and 5 C-Section Grand Finals (along with about 16 more GFs!), and 2 representative appointments in Adelaide. He was voted Umpire of the Year by the clubs in 2006. In 2007 he took the role of Development Coach, and umpired/on-field coached nearly every one of our up-and-comers until he decided to hang up the boots at the end of 2014. Of course that was never going to last, and he was back in mid 2015, and has continued umpiring through the Divisions since then.

    But many of his most significant achievements have been off-field, including being awarded the VAFA Certificate of Merit in 2006. Memorably, Macca co-hosted the VAFA Radio Show with Tom Brain for 11 years – long before VAFA TV became a thing! He also scribed this column for over 20 years, often with a deft touch of the poison pen for umpires proving their fallibility. That he was able to get umpires and clubs to ‘dob in their mates’ (or self-confess) is a testament to how loved and respected Macca in not only umpiring circles, but in the VAFA in general.

    In addition to the great benefits he gave the UA as a coach and ‘social icon’, he also served on the Committee as treasurer and social secretary. He has been a Life Member for over 28 years. From a personal perspective, Macca was a large part of my introduction to VAFA football, through his column, radio show (when I woke up early enough), and as my coach. I will be eternally grateful to him for showing me why the VAFA community is the best there is.

    To our next generation of umpires (who will be reading this not in the record, but on Facebook) – Macca is the epitome of what it is to be a VAFA umpire. It is not just about what you do on the field, or even in umpiring, but about the friendships and respect that you foster. Macca threw himself into every aspect of the VAFA, including variously as a rep team statistician, runner and selector, and he tells us he has received the reward through his many lifelong friends made through VAFA football. 

    Macca has asked us to point out that all 700 have been as a field umpire… (we’re guessing that’s for Chillieand AD’s benefit!). Macca will be celebrating ‘in style’ post-match at E.E. Gunn (Ormond), and then will resume back at his house afterwards, and would love to see everyone there!


    Milestones and Life Membership

    Macca notified us of his milestone match – and you should too!

    Could all umpires achieving a milestone (multiples of 100) please email Michael Gough at secretary@vafaua.asn.auASAP to ensure we can appropriately celebrate at our end of season dinner. Predicted milestones for this season are acceptable.

    Also, nominations for Life Membership are now open. Nominations must be received at president@vafaua.asn.auby 5pm July 12. Nomination details, including criteria were emailed to all umpires – contact by email if more information is required.


    The VAFAUA monthly members meeting will be held onWednesday 27 June in the UA rooms at Elsternwick Park, with the requisite Free BBQ! 

  • 08/04/2018 8:49 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hopefully by now everyone has commencing the carb-loading and hydration routine, having already polished and packed the shoes for tomorrow - leaving time to settle in and watch Carlton and Collingwood duke it out.

    I'd like to thank everyone who joined us on Wednesday for our Season Launch event, along with the VAFA for 'shouting the bar'. There was a great vibe in the room, and despite our disjointed pre-season training we are going into season 2018 in great shape.

    While I'm sure that a few questions will pop up, please remember to take a copy (even electronic) of the 2018 Handbook that was emailed to all umpires during the week. The Handbook answers most questions (if not all), and is your first port of call!

    Milestones & Debuts

    This week UA Life Member Anthony Damen officiates his 600th match, waving the flags at Old Xaverians v Old Trinity. Son Adrian Damen joins him with the whistle, and its great to see the family dynasties continuing to thrive!

    Congratulations also go to Tom O'Connor (field) and Matthew Gough (boundary), who make their Premier grade debut at Collegians this week. Tom had an impressive first season with the VAFA in 2017, officiating up to Premier B level, while Matthew went one step further, umpiring the 2017 Premier B Grand Final having never umpired Premier! We think that is a first!

    Could all umpires who have an impending milestone please provide us with as much advanced notice as possible to ensure that your milestone is appropriately recognised and celebrated! Please email


    It is with the deepest sadness that we report the passing of young Aila, daughter of Wayne Hinton & Alina Tooley, and sister of Asha Hinton.

    A service is being held for Aila on the 12th of April in Mornington. Details are available via the following link:

    A Red Nose giving in memory page is available to anyone who may wish to contribute:

    Sadly, this week we also learned of the passing of the Wife of Life Member Geoff Curran, and Mother of umpire John Bradford.

    We ask all umpires to wear a black armband this weekend, and keep these families in your thoughts and prayers.


    Our AGM will be held on the 2nd of May in the UA rooms at Elsternwick Park. Free BBQ!

    Our first major social event, Trivia Night, will be held on the 12th of May. Make sure to save the evening, and get on down for a great night of Trivia, fun and great prizes!

    Our footy tipping competition is still open for those who want to join, and with the average correct tips of 3 last week, there is no better time to get involved! Contact William Houston or Daniel Silfo for more info.

    Run well, and don't forget your whistle (and if your running-mate does, or does something else silly, don't forget to dob them into us for the Umpires Corner)! 

  • 29/03/2018 11:38 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The VAFA has been strongly represented in the Victorian Football League (VFL) and the Australian Football League (AFL) in recent years. This is due to the strength of the coaching programs provided by the VAFA Umpiring Department and the culture the VAFAUA fosters that help developing umpires to get the best out of themselves. This year is no exception.

    Congratulations are extended to the following former VAFA Umpires who after a long preseason and trial period have been selected on VFL lists:

    Josh Ball (Development Field)

    Jack Punshon (Development Boundary)

    Raushaan Seychell  (Development Boundary)

    Tope Adepoyibi (Development Goal)

    Jake Marnie (Development Goal)

    Jack Stammers (Development Goal)

    These umpires join the following former VAFA Umpires at the VFL in 2018.

    Peter Bailes (Senior Field), Cameron Dore (Senior Field), Andrew Heffernan (Senior Field),  Matt Pryor (Senior Development Field), Jacob Rockwell (Senior Development Field) Sam Beer (Development Boundary), Adrian Pretorius (Development Boundary), Chris Doyle (Senior Goal), Patrick Dwyer (Senior Goal), Michael Driver (Development Goal) and Antonio Valente (Development Goal).

    Former VAFA Umpires who are currently umpiring in the AFL are:

    Nick Brown (Field), Chris Donlon (Field) (2011 AFL Grand Final Umpire), Leigh Fisher* (Field), Andre Gianfagna* (Field), Simon Meredith (Field) (2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017 AFL Grand Final Umpire), Robert O’Gorman (Field), Brent Wallace* (Field), Matthew Jenkinson (Boundary), Damien Cusack (Boundary) (2017 AFL Grand Final Umpire), James Scully (Boundary), Michael Saunders (Boundary) (2013 AFL Grand Final Umpire), Matthew Dervan (Goal) and Steve Piperno (Goal).

    AFL Field Umpire Rookies: Cameron Dore and Andrew Heffernan.

    *part of the AFL’s player to umpire pathway

    Anyone thinking about umpiring across any discipline or any players that have had one injury too many and are looking to transition to becoming an umpire should contact Haydn O'Connor at the VAFA on 9537 6707 or 

    Once again the VAFAUA is proud to continue to provide the VFL and AFL with quality umpires.

  • 21/03/2018 1:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    And we're back!

    With AFLW hitting the pointy end of the season, the AFL kicking off this week, and less than three weeks until VAFA Round 1, its safe to say that Footy is Back!

    We've been seeing great numbers at training so far, and we thank everyone for their understanding while the Elsternwick Park oval is re-laid. The good news is that the oval is looking absolutely fantastic, and it will be a joy to train on once it becomes available in a few more weeks time.


    It is important that all umpires (re)register with the VAFA and VAFAUA to umpire this season. Those new to the VAFAUA should register through the link on our home page. Those returning should log into the site, and renew their membership. ;


    We ask that all umpires who wish to order uniform do so as a matter of urgency. Place your order through the link on

    Season Launch

    Our season launch event is to be held at the Elsternwick Park rooms on Wednesday, 4 April, from 6:30pm, with a light meal provided. Last year's Premier and Premier B grand final umpires will be presented, and Round 1 appointments announced. Make sure to get on down to say hello to your umpiring colleagues, and to welcome in the new season!


    Once again the VAFAUA will be holding free footy tipping and SuperCoach competitions, with some awesome weekly and overall prizes available. Think $$$ prizes!


    SuperCoach: Join League 929001 or 358162.

    For any queries about competitions please email, or speak directly to Will Houston or Daniel Silfo.

  • 26/01/2018 10:38 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Preseason Fitness Training for 2018 will commence on Wednesday, 31st of January at Dendy Park Athletics Track, Brighton

    Training will be held on Wednesday Evenings and Sunday Mornings.

    Wednesday 6:15pm - 7:30pm (approx.):

    January: 31
    February: 7, 14, 21, 28
    March: 7, 14, 21, 28

    Sunday 9:30am - 11:00am (approx.):

    February: 11, 18, 25
    March: 4, 18
    February 11, 18, 25
    March 4

    Changeroom and bathroom facilities have kindly been provided by the Dendy Park Tennis Club, approx 100m walk from the aths track.

    Please note:

     - Umpires are NOT to park their vehicles in the Tennis Club Car Park.

    - Umpires are responsible for all bags and valuables, and should not leave them in the change room area (bring to aths track)


    Please bring a water bottle!

    This season the VAFA has also commenced a 'Running Group', which will meet at Princes Park, Carlton on Sunday Mornings as an alternative to Dendy Park. 

    Sunday (9am meet & Carlton FC Carpark)

    February: 11, 18, 25
    March: 4

    Goal Umpires are highly encouraged to join the pre-season fitness training as above. Official goal Pre-Season training and coaching commences on March 7

    We look forward to seeing you there!

  • 20/01/2018 11:28 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The VAFAUA committee would like to congratulate Haydn O'Connor on his appointment as VAFA Umpire Operations Manager for season 2018. We look forward to working with Haydn to continue our journey in ensuring the VAFA remains the place to umpire. More information can be found in the VAFA news release:

    Haydn will formally begin with the VAFA on the 22nd of January, and will provide further information about our pre-season training plan shortly thereafter. Training will commence on Wednesday, 31st January. Keep an eye on your email, VAFAUA Facebook and Website for more!

    As a result of his new appointment, Haydn will be vacating his role on the VAFAUA committee as Social Secretary. Any umpire who is interested in taking up this mantle should contact Michael Gough via by close of business on Friday, 2nd of February.

    I look forward to seeing you all on the 31st!

    Owen Hinson

    VAFAUA President

  • 30/08/2017 10:42 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As finals season approaches, please see the attached Reality Check document from Coach Tony Hales regarding finals appointments.

    Good luck to everyone for this finals series!

  • 30/08/2017 10:06 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The VAFAUA is saddened to hear of the passing of Lucy Stokes (nee Cooper) on Saturday. Lucy was the matriarch of an umpiring family, mother of Ray Stokes, and Grandmother to Frank, Julia, William and Louisa.

    Requiem Mass will be offered at Nazareth House Chapel (16 Cornell St Camberwell) on Monday the 4th at 9:30am. Following the Mass, the Cortege will proceed to the Roman Catholic Section, Springvale Botanic Cemetery for Burial at 2pm. A gathering will follow Mass at Nazareth house at approximately 11am. Rosary will be recited at Le Pine Chapel, 1603 Dandenong Rd. Oakleigh on Sunday evening at 6:15pm. Viewing prior to Rosary at 6pm. 

    All umpires are requested to wear black arm bands this weekend in memory and support of the Stokes family. 

  • 17/08/2017 12:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    TomorrowThursday 17th of August will see us celebrate two milestones.

    The first is our inaugural 'Bright Night' training session. All umpires are encouraged to head on down wearing the brightest, boldest gear you can find. The more fluoro the better. Think pink wigs, skintight orange leotards, and glow sticks. 

    We'll have tunes playing as we train - all leading into our...

    Inaugural VAFA Women's Grand Final umpire appointments.

    We'll be gathering in the rooms from 7:30 after training to announce the umpires who will take to the field this weekend to officiate the first ever VAFA Women's Grand Finals. Grand Final appointments are a tremendous achievement for any umpire, and we look forward to celebrating those achievements tomorrow.

    Look forward to seeing you all there!

  • 17/08/2017 12:06 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The VAFAUA were saddened to hear of the passing of David Murray on Friday, 11th of August.

    David was a long-time VAFAUA member and VAFA umpire, but I doubt there would be many in the Cricket or Football umpiring communities in Melbourne that haven’t crossed paths with David. 

    He retired from umpiring VAFA matches a couple of years ago, but that didn’t stop him being involved – he remained a member of the association, and would often cycle to training to catch up with his umpire mates. You’d always know David had arrived when you saw him roll in on his bicycle in his high-vis vest, and it didn’t seem to matter how bad the weather was, he’d always get to training.

    Always looking to help develop younger umpires, David came down to training this season to donate his uniform and flags to the VAFAUA, to help support the next generation coming through.

    A service of thanksgiving for David's life will be held at St. Augustine's Anglican Church, 90-92 Como Parade West, Mentone on Monday August 21st at 1:30pm. No flowers by request - donations may be made to Alzheimer's Australia or to St Augustine's. 

    All umpires are asked to wear black armbands this round in memory of David and in support of the Murray family.

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