With football season looming less than two months away, the Peel Football Umpires Association is in full pre-season training preparing to officiate the 2017 season.
However, the Peel Football Netball League is always in need of more whistle-blowers and is hitting the streets throughout the region to recruit.
The PFNL, along with the PFUA, recently handed out flyers in Baldivis and will be promoting the game at Secret Harbour Shopping Centre this weekend.
PFUA president Jerry Gibb said there had been strong boundary umpire numbers on the training track, but there was a need for more field officials.
“So far the numbers have been good for boundary and goal umps but we’re a bit short of field umpires,” he said.
“If you don’t have umpires you don’t have football, so it’s really important we find more people.”
Gibb highlighted umpiring pay packets and pathways into higher levels of football as alluring factors for young people who wanted to be closer to the action.
“It’s not just a way to give back to the game or the community, you earn some good cash as well,” he said.
“Young umpires might start off in the junior system and work their way up to league, WAFL or AFL level.”
The most recent success story to come out of the Peel Football Umpires Association is goal umpire Maddison Lamont, who judged the Fremantle v Brisbane AFL Women’s game at Fremantle Oval in front of more than 10,000 people last weekend.
She follows in the footsteps of PFUA development product Nathan Williamson, who will begin his AFL umpiring career in 2017.
“It’s great for us to see some of our younger umpires reaching higher levels, it shows how far people can go with umpiring,” Gibb said.
“It would also be great to see more ex-players joining the umpiring ranks and giving back to the game.
“No one understands the game more than those that have played it, and played it recently, so it would be good to see former players picking up a whistle.”
Field umpires in a three-umpire system can earn up to $160 per game, while those in a two-umpire system can earn up to $200.
Boundary umpires can be paid $110 a game and goal umpires could be paid $90.
All money earned is paid as cash in hand.
To learn more about the Peel Football Umpires Association or to join the ranks, call Jerry Gibb on 0402 410 900.