AFL umpire urges other juniors to grab a whistle

ONE of the Fraser Coast’s up-and-coming AFL umpires is urging other juniors to get themselves a whistle and learn the art of officiating.

Fraser Coast Anglican College student Hunter Harvey will perform umpire duties at the 2021 Wide Bay AFL grand finals in Maryborough. PHOTO: Shaun Ryan.

At just 13-years-old Hunter Harvey is making steady progress through the ranks and will lace up his boots and don his bright green shirt for umpiring duties at the Wide Bay AFL grand finals in Maryborough this weekend.

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“I’m really enjoying umpiring, it’s a real passion of mine,” said Hunter.

The Fraser Coast Anglican College student said he’s always had a love for AFL and becoming an umpire was a way he could increase his involvement in the sport even further.

“I recently went up to the U12 State Carnival in Cairns where I got to perform umpiring duties. It was a great experience and the level of my umpiring shot up quite a lot,” he said.

Hunter Harvey was recognised as Wide Bay AFL’s Best First Year Umpire in Bundaberg recently. PHOTO: Shaun Ryan.

He urged other junior players with a love for AFL to give umpiring a go.

“It’s a great thing for the clubs and community as there would be more officials available for matches and it’s been really good for me personally too. My fitness has increased significantly this season and I’ve been able to meet lots of people.”

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Hunter was recognised for his whistle work in Bundaberg at the weekend.

He walked away with the Wide Bay AFL’s Best First Year Umpire Award.

“I would definitely like to make a career out of umpiring one day,” said Hunter.

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The Year 8 student said his style as a field umpire was to try and let the game flow.

“I’ve been able to learn so much from the local umpires who I work with.”

When asked if he’s ever intimidated on the field by the seniors, Hunter was quick to point out that he’s in charge.

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“The senior players have lots of respect for us as junior umpires. They know it’s good for the game that we want to umpire.”

If you want to become an AFL umpire, click here.

You can also contact AFL Wide Bay online.

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