THE AFL Coaches Association has invited the AFL umpires coaches to become members.
AFLCA chief executive officer Mark Brayshaw explained that the decision was another example of how the AFL's 180 coaches were interested in enhancing the well-being of AFL Football.
"Wayne Campbell and I met last year and he suggested that, since there was a lot in common between umpires coaches and AFL coaches, the umpires coaches should join our association.
"Since then, we tested the idea informally amongst a few AFL coaches and then formally submitted it to our AFLCA Advisory Board last week. Based on their unanimous support, the board was happy to give its endorsement.
"We have 180 ordinary members of the AFLCA, comprising senior coaches, assistant coaches and development coaches at the 18 Clubs. Generally speaking, AFL coaches will support anything that can help grow the game.
"We think that working with umpires coaches and assisting in their development is in everyone's best interests, so we welcome the umpires coaches to our ranks."
Wayne Campbell, the AFL's national head of umpiring, was very pleased with the AFLCA Board's decision. "The closer our umpires coaches can get to the clubs the better we understand the way the game is played.
"Each club employs about 10 coaches and they set much of the games' direction. And the game is constantly evolving, so to collaborate with AFL coaches will allow us to understand their perspective, which I think will enhance the way we umpire the game.
"From a personal standpoint, the opportunity for our umpires caches to join the AFL Coaches Association is a real endorsement of the role we play in the eyes of 180 of some of the AFL's most important people: the coaches."