The Northern Football Netball League is pleased to announce the appointment of former AFL field umpire Gary Fila as Head of Umpiring.
Fila brings extensive experience to the position – which has been expanded to a full-time role from season 2020.
In heading the NFNL football umpiring department, Fila will oversee the recruitment and retention of all umpires, appoint and manage coaches for each umpiring discipline and conduct all umpire education and accreditation programs.
Fila umpired 48 AFL games between 2007 and 2013 and had a distinguished career in the SANFL, where he officiated four grand finals.
He worked as AFLW Head Umpires Coach in the inaugural two seasons of the competition and was an AFL Assistant Umpires Coach for three years between 2015 and 2018.
He also previously served as AFL Queensland’s State Umpire Manager and as an Assistant Umpires Coach at the VFL. Outside of football, he has also served as a consultant to Development and Culture at Cricket Australia and Cricket Victoria.
NFNL Chief Executive Officer Peter McDougall said Fila was a welcome addition to the league and would uphold the umpiring program’s reputation as a benchmark across metropolitan football.
“We are extremely pleased to have Gary join the NFNL’s administration team,” McDougall said.
“Gary has a wide-ranging and successful background as both an umpire and administrator and will bring a wealth of experience and skills to our umpiring department.”
McDougall also paid tribute to outgoing Head of Umpiring Martin Ellis, who will sign off with the league at the end of 2019 after five seasons in the role.
“On behalf of the NFNL, I thank Marty for his outstanding contribution to the league over the past five years,” McDougall said.
“Under Marty’s guidance the NFNL has maintained the highest ratio of umpires to teams of any grassroots football competition in the country, despite a large increase in team numbers in recent years.
“We thank Marty for his service and commitment to the NFNL and wish him well in his future endeavours.”
Fila will commence with the NFNL on Monday December 16.