Carl packs a punch
Carl Fletcher may have packed many personal belongings in his move down from Sydney, but his passion for the game and dedication to the growth and development of umpiring is set to be his most precious cargo of all.
It's time to blow the whistle on AFL South East's newest recruit who has the huge responsibility of overseeing a fresh and regional approach to umpiring in 2018.
Fletcher – AFL South East Regional Director of Umpiring - brings an exceptional record of on-and-off-field excellence to the table.
As a field umpire he took charge of the AFL Sydney Premier Division Grand Finals of 2013/14 and was voted the AFL Sydney Umpire of the Year in both 2014/15 by the Premier Division coaches.
He gets what elite level umpiring should look like – but at the same time has his focus firmly fixed on the growth and development of the third team on the park.
Fletcher's first eight years of a decade-long stint with AFL NSW/ACT was performed under the title of Umpiring Development Coordinator.
It was there he would oversee the growth, coaching, management and development of umpires within AFL Sydney Juniors and Northern NSW leagues.
He led the growth of Sydney Juniors umpiring, with 500 umpires and 30 volunteer umpire coaches under his auspice when he left AFL NSW/ACT at the end of 2017.
For the last two years he has been Football Operations Manager for AFL Sydney Juniors, overseeing the management of the competition which included 50 clubs and more than 500 teams.
But umpiring, well it's his first love!
"The thing I love most about umpiring is to watch a young person come into the game, with no experience at all, and watch them grow in confidence and competence to the point where they can take control of a senior game of football," Fletcher said.
"And the way I look at it, being an umpire is just like being a player at a football club, we come together as a family and community of people who just love their footy. Umpiring is great fun and develops communication and leadership skills as well."
Regarding his new role with AFL South East, there'll be no side-stepping or running backwards to enter the contest.
“I am really excited about being in this role and can't wait for the year ahead," he said.
"I am looking forward to working with all AFL South East staff, clubs, umpires and sponsors to set up effective structures, programs and an umpiring pathway that will grow and develop umpiring."
AFL South East Region General Manager John Anderson said Fletcher's role was crucial to the ongoing development of umpiring in the region.
“Carl’s appointment starts a new era whereby AFL South East now oversees all umpiring in the region, which was formerly the domain of South East Juniors and the Southern Umpires Association (SUA),"Anderson said.
"AFL South East’s agreement with the SUA allows us to create a regional umpiring department which services all affiliated senior and junior leagues in the region. Carl’s appointment is integral in the development of umpires across all age groups.
"I would also like to thank the executive of the SUA for their co-operation in formulating this ground-breaking agreement and they will continue to support umpiring across the south east region.”
If you are interested in umpiring in 2018 please contact Carl Fletcher via firstname.lastname@example.org or 0425 256 504.