EDFL Umpiring & Development Manager Rowan Sawers is relishing his integral role within the EDFL community.
Sawers, one of the most revered figures in the history of AFL umpiring and member of the Australian Football Hall of Fame, last week signed on to remain in charge of EDFL Umpiring for the next three seasons.
The umpire with 406 VFL/AFL games and four Grand Finals under his belt joined EDFL ranks in 2014 and has enjoyed every minute giving back to the game he cherishes at community level.
“I’ve just completed three years and I’ve got a real passion to build on the EDFL umpiring programs which have commenced,” Sawers said.
“I’m thrilled to see our junior umpires going through these programs from juniors to seniors, onto the VFL and hopefully some can go onto the AFL.
“I’m really passionate about the growth of umpiring and footy and I’m thrilled to be working with the EDFL and looking forward to continuing that here at Windy Hill.”
In 2013 the EDFL had 350 registered umpires.
That number has since grown beyond 500.
EDFL Chairman Brett Scott told essendondfl.com.au Sawers is one of the EDFL’s great assets.
“To have someone of Rowan’s calibre basically step straight out of the AFL at the height of his game and come to the EDFL is unforeseen in community football, anywhere in Australia,” Scott said.
“He just fits into the EDFL community like a hand in a glove.
“He’s embraced us, his passion for umpiring shines all the time and his ability to communicate with our high-profile coaches is also a bonus for us.
“He’s grown the base of the umpires, grown its reach and opened up significant doors through grants that he’s been able to achieve.
“That would not have been possible without Rowan Sawers.”