West Australian umpires have celebrated key achievements in recent weeks, with major milestones celebrated and others receiving an opportunity to progress to the next level.
Hunter added to AFL panel
WAFL goal umpire Sam Hunter was recently offered an AFL contract for season 2020 after waving the flags in more than 150 WAFL games, including five League Grand Finals.
Hunter, who joined the WAFL panel in 2008 from Swan Districts Junior Football Umpires Association, made his WAFL League debut in 2011 and has since been named the WAFL’s Goal Umpire of the Year on four occasions.
He has also umpired two WAFL State Games and been an AFL Rookie-listed goal umpire since 2017.
State Goal Umpiring Head Coach Ryan Harder congratulated Sam on his 2020 AFL contract.
“Sam has completed a very long apprenticeship but has finally been rewarded for his patience and high performance over a number of years,” Harder said.
Doig notches up 300th game on boundary
AFL boundary umpire Nathan Doig celebrated his 300th AFL game in the Fremantle v St Kilda game on Saturday, July 11.
Doig began umpiring WAFL in 2002 and was appointed to the 2003 and 2004 WAFL grand finals before making his AFL umpiring debut in Round 5, 2005 West Coast v Western Bulldogs. He has since officiated 25 AFL Finals and five AFL Grand Finals (2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2018).
WAFL & Talent Pathway Umpiring WA’s Dean Margetts said it was a huge achievement to get to 300 games at the highest level.
“Nathan has led the charge for Boundary umpiring in WA for several years and is highly respected amongst all his interstate peers,” he said.
“We estimate in 300 AFL games, Nathan would have run to Melbourne and back to Perth! An amazing amount of kilometres."
“He has had a glittering career thus far, with more highlights to come. Whilst we all know Doigy has plenty of natural talent never lose sight of the work he puts in so he can be the successful umpire he is.”
Margetts reaches 350-game milestone
Dean Margetts umpired his 350th AFL match in the Fremantle v Gold Coast game on Saturday, June 27.
Including WAFL games, Margetts has now umpired more than 450 games of senior football.
Dean began his football journey as a junior player and later played for the Maddington Bulls in the Sunday League.
It was in 1996 he decided to give umpiring a shot to earn some coin and his natural talent was quickly picked up by David Johnson, the Umpire Manager at the time, who attended a South Perth junior football match Dean was umpiring in.
Dean commenced umpiring at the WAFL level in 1998 and was appointed his first League game in the opening round of the following season.
After only 38 WAFL League games he umpired his first WAFL grand final in 2000 and won the Brett Rosebury Medal, formerly known as the Grant Vernon Medal, for the most improved umpire.
It wasn’t long until Dean was appointed to the AFL list and in Round 5 of the 2002 season, he made his AFL umpiring debut at the West Coast Eagles v Brisbane clash.
In 2008 Dean received Life Membership of the West Australian National Football League Umpire Association (WANFLUA) and hit his 100-AFL game milestone when he umpired the West Coast Eagles v Carlton clash.
In 2012, he was selected into to the WANFLUA Team of the Decade joining umpires Brett Rosebury and Craig Hendrie.
In 2017, Dean was recognised by the AFL with AFL Life Membership.