AFL Outer East is excited to announce the appointment of AFL umpire, John Howorth, to the role of ‘Head of Umpiring’ for 2022.
Employed in a part-time capacity, the AFL-listed umpire of 42 games will work alongside Operations Coordinator Sebastian Mueller-Schmuki in the development and growth of umpiring throughout the region, with a specific focus towards coaching where he will aim to fast track the development of all umpires, across all disciplines, with a focus on fitness and match day techniques.
Speaking upon his appointment, Howorth was excited about the opportunity that follows and is looking forward to working with and developing umpires across all disciplines.
“I see this as a great opportunity to work with a highly motivated and dedicated group with outstanding group culture and aspire towards having a positive impact on the Yarra Ranges Umpires Association and the Outer East competitions over a number of years,” Howorth explained.
“My passion for umpiring the game also extends to the coaching side of things, with a specific focus towards motivating, mentoring and developing young umpires, and I cannot wait to get started.”
Howorth is not a newcomer to the coaching sector of umpiring, with previous experiences with the Bendigo Umpires Association and Northern Territory Football League. Studying a Masters in Sports Officiating, one of only eight people in the world currently undertaking the degree, Howorth will bring modern coaching techniques to the role.
Growing up in country Victoria, Howorth began his umpiring career with the Bendigo Umpires Association in 2006 where he remained until 2013 before gaining the opportunity to move into the Victorian Football League. Five seasons in the VFL followed, where he had the chance to umpire the TAC Cup Grand Final in 2016, as well as both the VFL and AFLW Grand Finals in 2018. His hard work and achievements up to that point of his career earnt him the opportunity to get a spot on the AFL Umpires list for 2019, making his debut in the St Kilda v Adelaide game during Round 6.
Region General Manager Aaron Bailey was delighted with the appointment of Howorth and believes his extensive experience in umpiring will provide huge benefits for football in the region.
“A key focus for us coming out of covid has been to invest and focus on umpiring, to both grow the number of participants who see umpiring as a pathway in our game, but to continue to improve and develop the match day standards and performance of our group,” he said.
“This is a significant appointment for our league, that will benefit all competitions.”
Peter Dixon, President of the Yarra Ranges Umpires Association, believes this is the most significant appointment for umpires in the region for many years.
“John is an exceptional individual with great passion and experience, and I am personally looking forward to working with him and his coaching panel to help them deliver positive outcomes to umpiring in our region,” Dixon explained.
“Our team across all age groups and all disciplines will benefit greatly with John at the helm.”