Umpire Stories and News


AFL Umpire Plays on in Cairns

Field umpire Matt James has been part of three AFL grand finals - the last in 2004 - overseeing more than 200 games at the highest level and will manage the Cairns league's officials in 2013.

President Gary Young said aside from being a 'damn good bloke' James would help encourage and

develop umpires through the competition and across the region.

"People with those sort of credentials don't come along very often," he said.

"He's going to bring a lot of experience to the table and that's fantastic not just for our young up and coming umpires but certainly the older ones too."

Mr Young said umpires are difficult to find in far north Queensland but Mr James' appointment would help boost numbers and retention rates.

"A lot of people want to play the sport but not so many want to umpire," he said.

"We've had some umpires in senior and junior matches doing well over 100 games a year. That's just too hard on the body so it's really important we grow our numbers.

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