What A Day For O'Dea

When Hayden Kennedy phoned Rose O'Dea, she could barely contain her excitement "I was much more excited than I thought I would ever be. It was a fantastic day and I can't wait to get into next year".

The reason O'Dea can't wait for next year is she will become just the 3rd female Goal Umpire in AFL history following in the footsteps of Katrina Presley and Chelsea Roffey when she joins the 27 strong elite AFL Goal Umpire Panel. What also impressive is she will be one of the youngest ever AFL umpires at the age of 21. O'Dea just needs to pass the time trial to get the official tick of approval but that shouldn't be a problem given her aunty is Olympic Marathon Silver Medalist, Lisa Ondieki.



Rose started umpiring in Canberra just six years ago and her rise to the top has been swift. She has umpired in the TAC Cup, National U/18 Championships and the NEAFL before earning the call up to the AFL panel.


It is family and love of football that got Rose into umpiring "My Dad was umpiring from as early as I can remember, and i'm a football fanatic, so I wanted to be a part of it. I'd always watched my brother play so at 14 I decided to give goal umpiring a go" O'Dea said.

AFL NSW/ACT Umpiring manager Graham Glassford paid tribute to O'Dea "Its brilliant news that Rose got the call up to AFL, and its a richly deserved reward for a young woman who is very talented, skilled and committed".

O'Dea commenced umpiring in AFL Canberra in 2007 and was awarded Best First Year Umpire. In 2010 she umpired in the TAC Cup and umpired the AFL Canberra Senior Grand Final. She joined the NEAFL in 2011 and has since umpired the Eastern Conference and Cross Conference Senior Grand Finals in both 2012 and 2013.

O'Dea hasn't been given any indication about when she might make her AFL debut and is prepared to be named as an emergency goal umpire in early rounds of the 2014 season, but the Round 4 GWS vs Western Bulldogs at Manuka represents a good chance for her 1st match.

O'Dea is a big supporter of having more female representation in umpiring "I know its an area they're looking to grow and there's obvious oppurtunities there".

The Riddell Umpires congratulates Rose on her outstanding achievement. If there are any young females out there that would like to follow in Rose's footsteps and give umpiring a go, don't hestitate to contact our female liaison officer Ti-Arne Hickey via the Females In Umpiring icon on our homepage. We would love for you to join us.