UNIQUE UMPIRING PATH REWARDS MCINTEE
Umpiring Australian Rules Football provides individuals with a range of fantastic opportunities to stay fit and remain involved in the game they love and for Tasmanian umpire Tom McIntee, a unique pathway has presented itself.
Like many umpires McIntee was introduced to the pursuit by attending a friend’s training session, becoming hooked by the opportunity to be involved in footy.
“I played junior football but wanted to get involved in a different way, so I went along to my mate’s umpiring training session and really enjoyed it.
“I have found it to be a really great way to earn some money, stay really fit and remain involved in a sport I love,” he said.
Six years on and 20-year-old McIntee has achieved a significant amount, as highlighted by a successful stint in the Northern Territory across the 2017-18 summer.
McIntee decided to make the move to Darwin after the 2017 Tasmanian winter, determined to further develop his skills while umpiring the game he loves.
“I was eager to move away from home for a little while and try my hand at umpiring in a different environment to further develop my expertise,” McIntee said.
McIntee began umpiring the Northern Territory’s Premier League competition and soon realised that a big challenge awaited him.
“For a young Tasmanian guy who is used to the colder climate of Tassie, the first and biggest challenge was getting used to such hot and humid conditions.
“Umpiring in and training in conditions over 30 degrees really made me assess how I prepare and recover from a game. I was always conscious of preparation and recovery, but umpiring in those conditions meant taking ice baths after games and really focusing on my hydration,” he said.
It didn’t take long for McIntee to settle in, however, going on to be selected for the Northern Territory Football League’s Premier League Grand Final between Southern Districts and the Darwin Buffaloes, in which the Districts won by just one point.
McIntee was then recognised as the competition’s umpire of the year – a stunning feat for someone new to the competition.
“I certainly didn’t expect to be recognised in that way, or to even umpire the Grand Final if I’m honest.
“It was a real privilege to have been selected for the Grand Final, and then to be recognised as umpire of the year was a bit of a shock. I obviously aim to umpire as best I can, but the recognition was something I didn’t expect,” McIntee said.
McIntee noticed some significant differences in the type of football being played in Darwin and Tasmania, citing the physicality and skill of Tasmanian football to be quite different to the free-flowing style of football in the tropics.
“It was a great opportunity to be involved in a different environment. What I was able to learn in the Northern Territory will only make me a better umpire moving forward.”
McIntee’s achievement is just one of a host of recent milestones achieved by Tasmanian umpires with Rhys Goodyer officiating in the AFLW Grand Final and Adam Reardon umpiring his first AFL game after years of hard work in Tasmania.
With the likes of Goodyer and Reardon climbing the umpiring ranks, McIntee also harbors ambitions of following a similar path.
“It is really exciting to see these pathways that are emerging for umpires, especially in Tassie.
“[To umpire at the highest level] is something I would like to aspire to, but the biggest thing for me is just that I continue to enjoy it and see where it goes from here,” he said.
McIntee has enjoyed being involved in the start of the Tasmanian State League season and has also been selected to umpire in this Saturday’s Tassie Mariners match in Blacktown, Sydney, and he is excited by the opportunity.
“It is another great chance for me to umpire in a different context and environment. I can’t wait,” he said.
TASMANIAN SELECTED TO UMPIRE AFLW GRAND FINAL
Tasmanian boundary umpire Rhys Goodyer has been appointed to officiate the AFLW Grand Final in Melbourne this weekend.
Goodyer will be one of four boundary umpires for the AFLW decider between the Western Bulldogs and Brisbane Lions at Ikon Park this Saturday.
The 19-year-old, from Launceston, also umpired throughout the 2017 AFLW season and officiated the 2016 and 2017 TSL Men’s Grand Finals.
Goodyer was shocked when he received the call up for the AFLW decider.
“Umpiring across the AFLW has been an amazing experience.
“I had umpired three games across this AFLW season so I had no idea that I would be selected. I umpired well in my last game and they were impressed enough to give me a go.
“I am really excited about the opportunity but I am feeling a bit nervous – I can’t wait to get stuck into it,” he said.
Goodyer first got into umpiring after attending some of his father’s umpiring training sessions as an 11-year-old and hasn’t looked back since.
“I love football and the people involved in umpiring make it a rewarding thing to do.
“It’s a fantastic way to be involved with the game,” Goodyer said.
Goodyer harbours ambitions to one day umpire an AFL men’s match.
“That will be the ultimate goal, I am just excited to continue working towards that.”
The AFLW Grand Final will get underway from 12.35pm at Ikon Park this Saturday 24 March with two Tasmanians, Jessica Wuetschner and Brittany Gibson, set to line up for the Lions.