Young um­pire ready for the ex­pe­ri­ence of a life­time

Pilbara News - - Sport - Tom Zaun­mayr

One of Kar­ratha’s ju­nior AFL um­pires has won him­self and a guardian tick­ets to the AFL grand fi­nal in Mel­bourne.

James Foster-Reed, 17, will take part in the grand fi­nal pa­rade and get the chance to join other um­pires on the MCG field at half-time, sur­rounded by an ex­pected crowd of more than 90,000.

West Pil­bara Ju­nior Football As­so­ci­a­tion is hop­ing to raise about $7000 to cover the cost of flights and ac­com­mo­da­tion to help James and his guardian make the trip.

“I have been to about 10 matches in my life but have played footy up here since I was six,” James said.

“It will be a great ex­pe­ri­ence to go over to Mel­bourne and soak in the at­mos­phere at such a big event.

“I want Fre­man­tle to win and I would love a derby grand fi­nal, but out of the top eight I would tip Hawthorn or West Coast to win.”

He said fork­ing out for some cold weather cloth­ing was on the cards.

Af­ter help­ing out when a ju­nior game needed a spare um­pire, James took to the chal­lenge and com­pleted his cer­tifi­cate one in on-field um­pir­ing.

“Um­pir­ing ju­niors, you get the chance to help them de­velop their game skills as well as show­ing them how to play the game,” he said.

“Usu­ally they do know most of the rules but when it comes to play­ing, they make a few mis­takes which is where I can help out dur­ing the game.”

James said hav­ing some of the lo­cal com­pa­nies and res­i­dents al­ready chip in sup­port had been help­ful.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

Ju­nior um­pire James Foster-Reed, 17, has won a trip to the AFL grand fi­nal.

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