YOUNG umpiring prospect Martin Rodger is planning to get through Saturday’s NAB AFL Women’s Grand Final unnoticed.
The Victorian, 20, will officiate the Brisbane Lions-Adelaide Crows match at Metricon Stadium, alongside Tom Bryce and Ben Cheever.
Rodger, who is studying commerce at Deakin University, said he was thrilled to have the chance to be involved in the new competition.
“It’s fantastic to be part of something where women and girls are able to live out their dreams,” he said.
Rodger started umpiring in the Northern Football League in Melbourne about six years ago when he needed “a little bit of pocket money” and has spent the past three years working in the VFL as part of that competition’s development squad.
He said he had enjoyed the experience of travelling interstate to umpire AFLW matches and was determined not to let the big occasion affect his decision-making.
“When you’re out there and you see a free kick, you pay it,” Rodger said.
“It’s all done on instinct.”
Rodger said a good result would involve the umpires playing their roles and letting the players go about their business.
“It should be good fun and hopefully it all goes smoothly,” he said.
“At the end of the day, there shouldn’t be too much focus on umpires…the players are definitely the most important people.”