Rodger set for AFL umpiring debut

Published on Wednesday, March 15, 2023

The NFNL congratulates former league umpire Martin Rodger who will make his AFL umpiring debut in Sunday’s opening round clash between Hawthorn and Essendon at the MCG.

Rodger made his NFNL senior field umpiring debut in 2012, officiating in the St Mary’s vs Panton Hill clash at Whatmough Park and within three years, he umpired the 2014 Division 1 men’s senior Grand Final between Greensborough and Heidelberg at just 17 years old.

He joined the VFL umpiring development squad in 2015 before officiating in the inaugural AFLW Grand Final in 2017.

Since moving into state-league level umpiring, Rodger has achieved multiple accolades in the last five years, including officiating the 2019 and 2022 VFL Grand Finals.

He was also in the VFL umpiring leadership group between 2019 and 2022 and was twice named the VFL Field Umpire of the Year in 2019 and 2021.

NFNL Head of Umpiring Martin Ellis says Rodger earnt his opportunity to umpire in the AFL following an impressive body of work at both community and state level.

“Martin absolutely deserves his opportunity at AFL level and is the perfect example of how a community umpire can learn their craft and achieve umpiring at the highest level,” he said.

“He possesses all the skills and attributes that will ensure a successful career on and off the field. The NFNL and NUA wish Martin every success moving forward.”

The NFNL is still recruiting umpires ahead of the 2023 NFNL football season. To learn more about umpiring, visit the Umpiring Hub or contact Martin Ellis at

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