Riddell Umpires are in need of help

Reece Hetherton (L) Alexander Bond (M) Harley Darmanin (R). Picture supplied

By Tara Murray

Riddell Umpires are in need of help.

The association is short on umpires this season and is looking for people to get involved to help cover the growing number of matches.

The association’s Harley Darmanin said they have 110 umpires for this season, well down on the 160 they finished last season with.

The association provides umpires for senior and junior matches in the Riddell District Football League, along with club 18 games and AFL Goldfields women’s and girls matches that fall in the playing region.

“We’re looking short, especially for juniors and women’s matches,” Darmanin said.

“There’s been a lot of Sunday match growth with female football and juniors and we need more umpires.

“We last year finished with 160, if we could get back to about 160 and then we could grow from there.”

Darmanin said they had lost some of their senior umpires to the VFL, while others hadn’t returned due to work and family commitments.

He said they were short mostly of boundary and field umpires.

“Being in the growth corridor of Melbourne it should be that hard to find umpires.

“There’s a few clubs that don’t have under-19s, so maybe umpiring could be a way to keep them involved.

“It’s a good opportunity to stay involved.”

All umpires are paid. Darmanin said an umpire could earn $1 a minute for officiating at a junior match on a Sunday.

If more umpires aren’t found it could be left to clubs to find umpires or the association would have to get umpires across from the Ballarat Umpires Association.

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