West Australian Football League Umpire Justin Power has been added to the AFL Field Umpire List for 2019 after continuing to impress in the WAFL.
Power, who has umpired 102 Senior games including three consecutive WAFL Grand Finals from 2016 to 2018, becomes just the second WA-based umpire in the past 10 years to be elevated to the AFL Umpire list following Nathan Williamson’s appointment in 2017.
Power, who has been an AFL Rookie Umpire for the past two seasons, said that umpiring in the AFL had become a dream not long after receiving his first green uniform at the age of 13 when he signed up to keep fit and earn some pocket money.
“I was still playing football for Kingsley so for a few years I would umpire an early juniors game and then play in the afternoon. I always intended on having some form of involvement in the AFL and soon after realising I wasn’t going to get there by playing football, I was focused on making it as an umpire,” he said.
“It is a great feeling knowing years of hard work has led to this opportunity and it is a very special moment not only for myself but also for the family and friends that have supported me over the journey.
“I’ve had many people that have each played an important role in getting me to the position I am in today. Cam Douglas, Gareth Parker, Craig O’Donoghue and Darryl Sinclair as WAFL head coaches have been extremely supportive and honest about the areas I needed to develop.
“AFL umpires Dean Margetts, Jeff Dalgleish and Luke Farmer have shown me the professionalism required to succeed at AFL level and particularly over the last two years as a rookie, we have built strong relationships.
“Last but certainly not least, my partner Emily has been extremely supportive over the years and continues to inspire me to be the best person I can both personally and as an umpire.”
WAFL & Talent Umpire Manager Dean Margetts said Power’s elevation to the AFL list was not only a significant personal achievement but a huge boost for the WAFL Umpiring talent pathway.
“This is a great outcome not only for Justin personally, as he has had to invest many hours of work to get to this point in his umpiring journey, but also to our WAFL Umpiring talent pathway,” he said.
“West Australian AFL umpire Luke Farmer announced his retirement this season and to have Justin appointed as a replacement is really exciting for us all. It tells us our program, our coaches, our umpires and the collective culture and values we live here are as good as any State in the country.
“I look forward to the 2019 season and finding our next Justin Power,” Margetts said.
Power said he was now looking forward to joining good friend Nathan Williamson as an umpire in Melbourne and encouraged other talented umpires to continue their development journey.
“My two pieces of advice for aspiring AFL umpires is be coachable and be able to self-analyse in an honest, constructive manner. There will always be moments in a game that may go unnoticed by coaches however the ability to self-analyse areas of improvement, own your performance and not only identify, but work on these areas, is what will lead to greater development,” he said.