The Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) will have two outstanding young men from the Yarra Ranges Umpires Association join its ranks ahead of the upcoming 2021/22 season.
Young AFL Outer East umpires Lockie Cox and Max Travis will make the trek north to Darwin for the ‘Top End’ summer season of football in a bid to further develop their umpiring skills as they aim to take their umpiring careers to greater heights.
Due to a reduced population in the north, the NTFL struggles for umpire numbers and every season they appeal for support from umpires around the country to assist them in running the competition.
The standard of football is excellent and those who have taken up the opportunity to go see it as a great way to further build their fitness and maintain their involvement over the summer period, as well as experience the lifestyle change offered in the far north.
Participating in football in the north is often faced with a unique set of climate related challenges as players and umpires are faced with sweltering hot and humid conditions.
Concentration and fitness levels are tested to maximum levels, but the reward from tackling the challenge head on means umpires will always be better off and come away from it having taken a giant leap with respect to furthering their careers.
Travis and Cox are well known in the region for their umpiring abilities and have been the recipients of a successful development pathway as they transitioned from junior football into the senior umpiring ranks.
Former Junior Umpire Coach Brendan McKenna is excited for the adventure that lies ahead for the boys and believes they are more than capable of the task at hand, following what they have achieved with the Yarra Ranges Umpires group.
“Lockie and Max have developed a high level of skills throughout their junior umpiring and have been leaders within the junior ranks and assisted with mentoring our newer umpires,” he said.
“In the past season, they have successfully transitioned to senior football which is the essence of our development and succession planning for years to come.
“I am looking forward to seeing what they can achieve in Darwin as they are more than capable of what is coming before them.”
Max is keenly looking forward to the next few months as he sees it as a great way to propel him further down the umpiring pathway as he aims for greater things.
“It will be fantastic to get back to footy week in and week out, and I think it will look great on my umpire resume as I would like to get to a higher standard of footy and potentially try out with the VFL in the future,” he said.
Ahead of his trip up north, Lockie is also eagerly awaiting the challenge and lifestyle change in Darwin.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the difference between the NTFL and AFL Outer East and meeting new people,” he said.
“Additionally, I can work on my fitness and aim to become the best umpire that I can be”.
AFL Outer East and the Yarra Ranges Umpires Association wishes the best of luck to Max and Lockie as they embark on this incredible journey of umpiring with the Northern Territory Football League.