AFL’s 1st Female Field Umpire Looks To Improve After Making A-OK Debut

Geez, there have probably never been more opportunities for women in elite AFL as there are right now. 

Following the announcement a 10-match exhibition series would be showcasing women’s footy around the nation, Eleni Glouftsis took to the field herself today – but she donned the hi-vis yellow and green as the first female field umpire to call a sanctioned AFL match. 

The pre-season bout between Essendon and Carlton at Princes Park – now dubbed Ikon Park – ended up in favour of the piecemeal Bombers, who stunned the Blues 1.3.8 (35) to 1.13.8 (95), including ‘supergoals.’ Notably for Glouftsis, her role was mostly transparent – which, for an umpire, is a great trait to have. 

Still, the young gun, who is currently on the league’s development squad, reckons some parts could have gone better; she said she “wasn’t 100 per cent happy” with her first bounce. Overall, she gave herself a six out of ten, which is a bloody decent rating considering how full-on the gig must be. 

Head honcho of the league’s umps Wayne Campbell said “she realises now that it’s whole another step up. In a regular season, it’s another step again.”

“She looked comfortable, paid the frees that needed to be paid … it was a good result.”
Umpiring coach (which is totally a thing) Hayden Kennedy will be running through match footage with Glouftsis to finetune her game, but a new precedent has just been set. 

Source: SBS / AFL. 
Photo: Michael Dodge / Getty.