Teen ref des­tined for AFL fu­ture

Isis Town and Country - - Front Page -

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.

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