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Association News: January-May 2024

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A look at what's been happening around the traps to start 2024.

Howe receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Former AFL/WFNL umpire and current development coach Peter Howe has been recognised by the AFL Umpires Association with a Lifetime Achievement Award for 45 years of service.

The award is bestowed upon AFLUA life members for "outstanding, long term contributions to the association". Howie has been a tremendous asset to the group since returning home to observe in 2019, so this honour comes as no surprise.

Previous recipients with association connections include legends Terry O'Donnell and Wally Hopkins, WFNL life member Gordon Watt (father of Richard) and famed trainer/fitness coach George Mather (father of life member/hall of famer Mark and grandfather of AFL boundary umpire Josh).

Making waves in the state leagues

Following a excellent 2023 season in which he officiated in the Division 2 Grand Final, Aiden Tester has earned a call-up to the VFL Development Squad, off the back of his performances at the V/Line Cup and in early season state league matches. We wish Aiden all the best with the next phase of his umpiring career.

Shannon Van Boven has continued his rapid rise with selection in the Under 18 Girls National Championships. The 6-team tournament will commence on 29 June.

Finally, congratulations to Michael Willcox on reaching 50 VFL games during the Sandringham vs North Melbourne match on 5 May. Michael is the first association field umpire to reach the milestone since Brett Ritchie over a decade ago.

West Gate Tunnel Project & Harris/Cowper update

Work on the Whitehall St shared user bridge is in full swing, with bridge segments appearing along Harris St in recent months. Council has also commenced the Harris/Cowper St upgrade; the rear carpark is almost unrecognisable following recent vegetation clearing. Construction will continue throughout 2024, following which our members will be able to utilise formal parking areas and enjoy safer access between the clubrooms and the oval.

More information on both projects can be found at the following links:


Congratulations to the following umpires for their significant achievements in the first four rounds of Season 2024:

250 Division 1 matches

  • Michael Lynch (goal) - R4

Division 1 debut

  • Allen Luu (boundary) - R3
  • Harrison Nugent (boundary) - R3
  • Nick Duxson (field) - R4
  • Christian Hyde (field) - R4