THE first step in implementing one of the biggest changes to local football umpiring is underway.
AFL Central Murray is advertising for a director of umpires position, which will oversee the newly-created AFL Central Rivers Umpires.
Formed following the completion of a regional review into umpiring - developed by representatives from both the Central Murray and Golden Rivers leagues, the Central Murray Football Netball League Umpires, Northern District Football Umpires Association and AFL Central Murray - the new body will officiate matches in the Central Murray and Golden Rivers competitions.
The group will take over the services from the Central Murray Football Netball League Umpires, which ran CMFNL seniors and Colts matches, and the Northern District Football Umpires Association, which officiated GRFL seniors games.
"The review into umpiring established, as a priority the need for increased resources with specific focus on recruitment, retention and development," AFL Central Murray chairman, Alan Mitchell said.
"What we had was two umpire groups working in isolation with little collaboration, limited strategic focus and duplication of roles. The new structure will streamline these aspects, providing accountability to truly develop umpiring across the region."
The part-time director of umpires position will be responsible for the leadership and daily operations of the umpire group, incorporation of best practice to improve recruitment, development and retention of umpires in the region.
Two umpire coaches – one based at Swan Hill, and the other at Kerang - will work collaboratively with the director to be responsible for the coaching, performance and skill acquisition of umpires within the new group.
"We expect that all key performance indicators within the responsibility of the umpire director and umpire coaches will be achieved, which will greatly build the capacity and performance of umpiring across the region and the service provided to our great game," AFL Victoria regional general manager, Bruce Petering said.
"In reality, the new structure is being implemented in the best interest of umpiring, umpires and football."
Applications for the three roles close on Wednesday, February 15, with further details available by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
"I would like to acknowledge the service that the NDFUA and CMFNL Umpires have provided over many years and would love to see all members of both groups supporting the AFL Central Rivers Umpires," Mitchell said.