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The Victorian Amateur Football Association (VAFA) will this week double the pay for all officiating umpires to celebrate this week’s VAFA Umpires’ Round.  
This gesture is just a small way the VAFA can thank all our match officials for their continued devotion to the Association and will hopefully encourage the retention of umpires in years to come. 
VAFA CEO, Michael Sholly, said “The VAFA and our clubs always endeavour to provide the best support and amenities to our umpires. The importance of looking after our umpires cannot be overstated and we will continue to nurture their development and encourage them to be involved in our competition for as long as possible.”
VAFA General Manager of Football and Umpiring, Brian Goodman, said “The VAFA pride ourselves on the opportunities afforded to our umpires; whether that be the extra coaching they receive, the chance to enter elite pathway programs or simply providing training resources that are easy to access, we strive to make our umpiring talent reach their potential.”  
The VAFA have had fantastic success both in the past and presently in developing umpires that have reached the highest level. Current AFL field umpires; Chris Donlan, Simon Meredith, Leigh Fisher, Jordan Bannister and Robert O’Gorman; and boundary umpire Damien Cusack and Michael Saunders all spent time officiating in the VAFA.  
VAFA Umpires are already the best paid across all of the metropolitan Melbourne competitions and there are also plans to invest further in the development of an Umpire Academy. The VAFA is at the forefront of developing the skills and providing the best environment for umpires in local football. 
The tradition of VAFA Umpires’ Round was initiated by Williamstown CYMS in 2008. The CY’s will again hold formal celebrations in their home match against Old Geelong. At other VAFA grounds, umpires will shake hands will all competing senior players prior to the commencement of matches and many clubs will invite the umpires into pre-match lunch functions to speak about umpiring. On Tuesday night this week, VAFA umpires will attend training sessions at many of our clubs to engage with players about umpiring and talk about transitioning to umpiring once footballers have retired from playing.