Past Players Focus

Hawks News: Past Players Focus

David Gaynor, East Fremantle District Umpire’s Coordinator

 Former Player Profile 

David Gaynor

East Fremantle District Junior Umpire Co-ordinator 

Dave started playing Auskick at the club in 2003. Auskick started at year 1 then and ran for 3 years. Dave was Junior Club Person in 2006.

He played under coaches Glenn O’Donnell until Year 7 and then under coach Ashley Cranenburgh. Current Year 10 Assistant Coach Lachlan Shepherd was a teammate with Dave for several years. 

Dave played until Year 10 (2012) when his team did not continue due to low numbers and finished on 110 games – receiving Player Life Membership (100+ games). He opted not to continue playing football concentrating on his football umpiring and district cricket.

 Dave commenced umpiring when eligible at 13 and progressed through the ranks and was accepted into the WAFC Dean Margett’s umpire academy at 17 – umpiring senior colts and PSA 1st 18 games.

Due to school and work commitments, he withdrew from the development squad but continued umpiring older age groups in junior football. He has officiated in several junior Grand Finals

Four years ago, he became part of the coaching panel at East Fremantle district junior umpires’ program and last year took over the head co-ordinator role. 

100 games

The East Fremantle program has always been acknowledged as training junior umpires to a high standard and under 

Dave’s guidance, this has continued. The success of the East Fremantle junior umpiring program sees continuing high numbers with over 180 junior umpires enrolled this year. As well as running the program, Dave continues to umpire Year 11/12 games when required.

Dave has umpired several of the end of season Fathers/Sons games over the years and continues to take an interest in the club.

Dads Vs Lads game 2013


Why did you come to the club?

I started at AMPJFC with all my Year 1 friends from St Benedicts. Most of these had stopped playing football by Year 7 but as I loved playing, I continue until the team disbanded after Year 10.

Why did you start umpiring?

I liked all areas of the game and umpiring pays pretty well for a junior so it was a win-win.

How many games have you umpired?

I have lost count by I estimate between 250 and 300.

How many East Fremantle junior umpires have progressed to AFL and WAFL?

A number of umpires have gone on to umpire at WAFL and AFL levels. Currently there are 4 WAFL field umpires and 3 boundary umpires. There are also 9 umpires from East Fremantle in the Dean Margetts academy pathway.

How many boys and girls from the AMPJFC are umpiring?

Currently there are 6 umpiring.  If anyone is interested for next year, we register in February.

How does the umpiring program work?

Training is at the Rostrata ground once per week and is broken into: 

  • Modified rules league Y3-6 (one umpire)
  • Early Youth league Y7-10 (two umpires)
  • Late Youth league Y11 and 12 (three umpires).

Skills training progresses through the levels and as the umpires gain experience. However, we have a real emphasis on the boys and girls umpiring games in Y3 and 4 because they are new and the youngest and when they progress to multiple umpires on the field at Year 7. 

Ongoing mentoring is important and I have more senior umpires attending games to guide the younger umpires. Umpires are no different to players in that they are leaning and developing their skills. Safety of players is our priority such as protecting the head.

Do you have much bad crowd behaviour towards umpires?

We are lucky in our district that that we have coaches and parents that are supportive so verbal abuse of umpires is minimal. Supporting the umpires is important and particularly for the younger umpires so they can develop confidence and maturity to run a game. I work closely with the District administration and the clubs to encourage constructive feedback on umpiring to ensure continual improvement. 

Why would you encourage players to take up umpiring?

Besides earning good pocket money, our umpires are aerobically very fit so there is a health benefit.  Also, it shows another side to the game. Most of the umpires play footy and they say to me that it has helped them to better understand the game.

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