2017 AFL Mates Program

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Once again the Riddell Umpires are proud to be a part of the AFL Mates Program. This year up and coming field umpires, Alex Bond and Jacob Port will be mentored by AFL Field Umpire, Sam Hay, during the 2017 season. Last night Alex and Jacob were inducted into the program at Visy Park in front of parents and umpire coaches.

The Mates Program aims to promote the development of talented young umpires through a mentor program with elite umpires.

The program pairs AFL field umpires with up and coming whistle blowers to help in their development and provide them with a first-hand look at what it takes to officiate at the elite level.

Over the duration of the season, the young officials, who range between the ages of 16 and 25, will speak regularly with their AFL mentor and develop their umpiring game plan.

The AFL umpires will get together with their ‘mates’ four or five times for the year and speak to them regularly about all facets of umpiring and the challenges that come with it.

The concept helps teach, guide young umpires and help them overcome challenges they face along the way.

Congratulations to Jacob and Alex. We look forward to hearing about your journey and many thanks to Sam and the AFL for your support. 

2017 Season Launch


The 2017 Season Launch was held last night with close to 100 umpires in attendance. President, David Hili, General Manager Steven Giles and Senior Coach Dwayne Connell spoke to the group about their expectations for this year. Other topics included the Social Calendar, use of Schedula, social media and Training. 

 A copy of the presentation is available via our Coaching Page.

Hard Work in Anglesea

The 2017 Riddell Umpires Pre Season Camp was held last weekend in Anglesea where 30 umpires braved the heat to get a jump start on their season. 

Over the 3 days umpires participated in a range of activities including a 10km run, beep test, beach boot camp along with a range of games. The camp was also a great opportunity for umpires to bond and get to know each other in the lead up to round 1. 

A huge thanks to coaches Billy Mitchell and Dwayne Connell for their organisation and the umpires that attended. This weekend is highly recommended for all umpires and hope to increase the numbers in 2018.


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JMAC makes VFL Senior Squad

jmac2It was announced this week that 2015 Riddell Senior Grand Final Goal Umpire, Jordan McMillan, was appointed to the VFL Senior Umpiring Panel. I sat down with Jordan to find out about his journey. 


Well congratulations Jordan! A massive achievement. Let’s go back to the beginning. How did you get into umpiring? 

I started umpiring back as a club field umpire for an Under 12’s team back in 2009, throughout the day, I would also volunteer for other teams ] as either a boundary or goal umpire on the day.


Then in 2011 I took up offical umpires in the field with the BFL. In 2012 I moved to Geelong for a year to study and gave up umpiring for a year. When i moved back home, I took up field umpiring again with the Ballarat League, however a mate who I worked with at McDonalds mentioned to me that they needed goal umpires. I had always been keen on goal umpiring and loved the skill, so I took him up on his offer and went down and trained with the goal umpires.

Read more: JMAC makes VFL Senior Squad

Restaurant Night - This Saturday April 22nd

Welcome to 2017 Dinner*** LAST CHANCE TO ATTEND***

RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  by lunchtime wednesday.


Riddell Umpires wish to invite all our members to join us for dinner to celebrate the start of the 2017 season.

Following the completion of the Saturday matches of Round 2, April 22nd, we will meet for dinner at our major sponsor - MAC's Hotel. (Please note, this was originally scheduled for Round 1, April 8th but has been changed due to a clash with RDFL night matches)

The evening will start at 6:30 with dinner and drinks being pay as you go.

We hope to see you all there to kick off what promises to be a great year.

To RSVP, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or see Chris Stead at training

To see the full size flyer, click here