Teen ref destined for AFL future
REF WINS: Redridge teen Ben Moller, 15, was awarded the All Australian Umpires medal at the recent AFL National School Sports Championships. See full story on Page 20
HE MAY be just 15 years old, but don’t be fooled. One blast from his whistle and Ben Moller soon has the big boys toeing the line on the field.
The Redridge Aussie Rules umpire and player has just returned from the AFL National School Sports Championships with a shiny medal around his neck.
Not just any medal: The teen has been honoured with an All Australian McLean Medal.
The prestigious medal is awarded to the most outstanding umpire (field, boundary or goal), to officiate at the titles.
Moller is the first person in the Wide Bay region to achieve the award, and the third Queenslander.
It’s a remarkable achievement for the Redridge teen, who has been umpiring for just three years.
An extremely humble Moller said the award was completely unexpected and he was speechless when the announcement was made.
“I couldn’t talk. I had no idea what to say,” he said.
“It was probably the best thing I’ve ever got.”
Ben Moller I do prefer to play but, if I can’t play, then I’ll umpire.
Moller, who has been involved in the sport since the age of five, first took up umpiring after watching his dad in action.
“I saw my dad doing it on a Friday night and thought it would be a cool thing to do, so I joined in with Dad,” he said.
Ask the youngster who is the better umpire and he’ll tell you, rather sheepishly, he gives his dad a run for his money.
He does admit there’s no escaping nerves before big games but, once he’s out on the field, it’s all business.
While the teen has had a few senior division one players challenge some calls, which can be daunting for a Year 11 student, he says the key is to stick by your decisions.
“You never change your decision. The moment you change the decision they start arguing with you, then you’ll be forced to change other decisions,” he said.
Moller’s recent success on the field has encouraged him to consider a future in the sport, whether with a whistle or a ball in hand.
“I do prefer to play but if I can’t play then I’ll umpire,” he said.
The teen is well on his way to a promising career, having made the Lions Academy this year.
HONOUR: Redridge umpire and player Ben Moller has been awarded the All Australian McLean Medal at the AFL National School Sports Championships.