Peel Football Umpires Association development product Nathan Williamson will be whistle-blowing at the AFL level in season 2017.
The WAFL field umpire was added to the AFL Umpire Panel following an outstanding 2016 in which he claimed the Montgomery medal as the WA National Football League Umpire Association’s best field umpire.
The 22-year-old Peel region native also officiated his first WAFL league grand final in 2016, which saw Peel Thunder topple Subiaco.
Williamson said that receiving a phone call from AFL national development manager of umpiring Adam Davis informing him that he’d been added to the AFL’s Umpire Panel was a dream come true.
“I couldn’t talk at first, I was really emotional. Umpiring AFL has been a dream of mine ever since I was young so it was surreal to get that phone call,” he said.
“I will be moving to Melbourne by the end of the year which is such a good opportunity. I’m really excited and I can’t wait to get over there and start being involved in that elite environment.
“The opportunity to be around the AFL umpires and soak up their experience will be great. I will be all ears and just learning as much as I can to get myself ready and hopefully do enough to deserve being selected for my first AFL game.”
Peel Football Umpires Associaton president Jerry Gibb was ecstatic with Williamson’s promotion to the elite level, labeling the move an outstanding achievement.
“Nathan’s a great young man – we’ve watched him develop his craft over time and he is a terrific umpire,” he said.
“It’s just magnificent to see a local kid progress through the ranks and achieve so much through umpiring football.”
Gibb heaped praise on the way the young Peel prodigy referees the game.
“He has an excellent rapport with the players and knows how to deal with everything on the field,” he said.
“Nathan knows how to keep a level head when emotions are running high in a match and has all the good qualities that make a long-term AFL umpire.”
To join the PFL’s umpiring ranks, call Jerry Gibb today on 0408 247 276 or visit pfua.com.au