Goal Umpire Braden Ford will make his League debut this weekend when he waves the flags at the West Adelaide and Eagles match at City Mazda Stadium on Saturday (4th July).
Braden, 17 first began umpiring at age twelve with the SA Amateur Football League (SAAFL) and North East Metropolitan Junior Football Association (NEMJFA). In 2011 Braden arrived at the SANFL and officiated in the Under 16’s Grand Final in the following year. He made his Reserves debut in Round 17, 2013 and credits his late grand-dad for getting him involved at an early age.
“I picked umpiring up because of my grand-dad as he was an umpire and heavily involved in the SANFL. Everything I’ve done in my umpiring career has been dedicated to him. His passing mid last year was tough for me but it gave me motivation to try harder and umpire well into the future.”
Braden’s love for the Goal umpiring craft has been evident ever since picking up the flags for the first time and his League appointment is a reflection of the dedication and commitment he has displayed.
“I did one game as a Boundary umpire but I didn’t really enjoy it so I gave Goal umpiring a try and instantly loved it. I’m very pleased to finally make League after all the hard work I have put in over the past 5 years. It’s good to be officiating with a well-experienced umpire (Steven Murphy) who will certainly guide me in the right direction.”
Braden has recovered from an on-field incident at Richmond Oval that saw him sidelined earlier in the year and is looking forward to stepping back out on Saturday.
“It was definitely hard to get back out on the field after the incident but I managed to push through and put the past behind me. This will be my first game back at Richmond since the incident last time I was there.”
For the season ahead, Braden looks forward to umpiring at a consistent level. “(I hope to) keep umpiring at the level I am at the moment and hopefully get a few more League games under my belt.”
Congratulations Braden on your appointment.
Author: James Merrett