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The VAFA has again proved a great breeding ground for young umpires that learn their skills before being promoted through the ranks to reach the highest level. 
Steve Piperno (Goal) and James Scully (Boundary) are the latest additions to the AFL Panel of umpires. 
They join a long list of former VAFA umpires currently officiating at the highest level. VAFA General Manager of Umpiring, Brian Goodman told that he was delighted to have another two former VAFA umpires make the big time.
“It is a great recognition of what we do here at the VAFA. We aim to provide our umpires with the best coaching, best conditions and best competition to umpire in that both allows them to develop their skills as well as enjoy their umpiring” Goodman said. 
Scully comes for a great VAFA umpiring family, with his father Sean Snr and brother Sean Jnr both umpiring in the VAFA as well as being involved with Therry Penola. Sean Snr frequently travels on representative trips (at his own expense) to run water for the team.
Both Scully and Piperno progressed from the VAFA into the VFL and they have now been added to the AFL panel for the 2015 season. They join a long list of former VAFA umpires on the AFL panel. 
Jordan Bannister (Field) (2013 NAB Cup Grand Final Umpire), Chris Donlon (Field) (2011 AFL Grand Final Umpire), Leigh Fisher (Field) (Promoted in 2013 as part of the AFL’s player to umpire pathway), Simon Meredith (Field) (2012, 2013, 2014 AFL Grand Final Umpire), Robert O’Gorman (Field) (Promoted in 2014), Nick Brown (Field) (Promoted for 2015), Brent Wallace (Field) (Promoted for 2015), Matthew Jenkinson (Boundary), Damien Cusack (Boundary) (Promoted in 2014), James Scully (Boundary) (Promoted for 2015), Michael Saunders (Boundary) (2012/2013 NAB Cup Grand Final Umpire and 2013 AFL Grand Final Umpire) and Steve Piperno (Goal) (Promoted for 2015)
The VAFA continues to develop and provide opportunities for umpires to challenge themselves then push on for higher honours. 
“The opportunities afforded our umpires are amongst the best in the country, by umpiring in the VAFA, if you work hard and are good enough, further opportunities will present themselves” said Goodman. 
Joe Hartwig (Development Field), Ben Nicholson (Development Field), Matt Pryor (Development Field), Charlie Blanch (Development Boundary), Andrew Heffernan (Senior Field), Daniel Lawlor (Senior Field), Jarryd Barry (Senior Field), Ryan O’Shea (Senior Boundary), Matthew Dervan (Senior Goal), Chris Doyle (Senior Goal) and Anthony Kyrkou (Senior Goal).
“The VAFA are always keen to speak to new umpires or indeed umpires that would like to officiate in our competition, I would encourage umpires of all levels to get in contact with me to talk about what their goals are and what opportunities might exist in the VAFA for 2015.” 
“We continue to invest in umpiring as we believe the more resources we put in the more we will get in return, both in retention of umpires, recruiting new umpires and this leads to improvements in the overall standard of the VAFA.”
“It’s why we have created the new position of Head of Umpiring, this is just part of the overall vision of the Board and the VAFA to create a first choice competition for umpires of all ambitions” said Goodman. 
To find out more about the VAFA’s Head of Umpiring Position and to submit your application you can click here.