Mildura Weekly : Friday March 7 2014 Vol 8 No 18
Mildura Weekly – 07/03/14 75 www.milduraphonebook.com.au Eightball tournament this weekend By ADAM LUITJES ST Joseph’s College stu- dent – and local football umpire – Antonio Liparota met his heroes this week as part of the 2014 AFL Um- pire Roadshow. The 14-year-old joined 36 of his school mates in a number of umpire-specific training drills, led by AFL field umpire Stuart Wenn and boundary umpire Mi- chael Marantelli. Having only one year as an umpire, Antonio said he learnt a lot from the visit. “It was a great oppor- tunity to learn from the best,” he said. “Both Stuart and Michael are profes- sionals, so it was fantastic to meet them. “They took us for some warm-up and training drills, and passed on some handy tips.” After playing a number of years with Robinvale Football Club, Antonio said he’s enjoyed swap- ping his football boots for a whistle. “Umpiring is a great way to stay involved in football,” he said. “I didn’t want to play anymore, but I love the game, so umpir- ing was the next best thing. “I started umpiring ju- nior games, but towards the end of last season I trained with the seniors, which was fantastic for my development. “My goal is to umpire at senior SFL level, and eventually become an AFL field umpire.” With 332 AFL games experience, Stuart said the idea of the roadshow was to promote umpiring to ju- niors across Victoria. “We are here to pro- mote umpiring as a career opportunity,” he said. “We want these kids to know they can be involved with AFL, without necessarily being a good player. “There are only 680 spots on an AFL list, so for kids who love the game, umpiring is a viable op- tion.” Along with recruiting umpires, Stuart said the AFL Roadshow also pro- moted the respect of um- pires at grassroots level. “We have an issue re- taining umpires,” he said. “The AFL has zero toler- ance towards the abuse of umpires, but we need to make sure that trickles down to local level. “Umpires aren’t per- fect, just like players, so we want these kids to realise the important role we play. “If you don’t have um- pires, you don’t have a game.” Stuart and Michael took umpires for a train- ing session Tuesday night, with the emphasis on “fitness and teaching the tricky rules.” More information on Sunraysia Football League umpiring is available by contacting 5023 2925 or by visiting www.sfua.org. au. Antonio’s field of dreams THE Edge Hotel will be the venue for this long week- end’s South Australian Ladies Eightball Carnival. Action starts at 8am – dai- ly from tomorrow – with 33 teams from SA and Sunraysia competing in the event. Entry is free, and more information is available by contacting Laura on 0428 227 850. • WHISTLE-BLOWERS: St Joseph’s College Year 9 student Antonio Liparota with AFL umpire Stuart Wenn. Antonio has his sights set on becoming an AFL umpire. Photo: DARREN SEILER By ADAM LUITJES WORKERS-Gol Gol wom- en’s cricket team is one step away from a third successive premiership as they take on Nichols Point in tonight’s Sunraysia Cricket Associa- tion Grand Final at Sarah Oval. After a comprehensive eight wicket victory against Merbein South in last week- end’s semi-final, Workers- Gol Gol captain Mel Keating is full of confidence leading into tonight’s contest. “I’m expecting a tight game,” she said. “Nichols Point are a good side who have pushed us all season. “The last two games we’ve won by a combined three runs, so they aren’t go- ing to be easy beats. “The girls put in a strong performance last weekend, so we need to continue that form Friday night.” Having captained her team to back-to-back pre- mierships, Mel said a three- peat would be “icing on the cake.” “Winning three Grand Finals would be special,” she said. “There are new play- ers who haven’t experienced premiership success, so it’s a great chance for them to share the spoils. “It would be a great re- ward for a terrific season, but we haven’t won yet.” Having scraped through to the Grand Final after a thrilling 11-run semi-final win over Coomealla Went- worth, Nichols Point captain Teoi Kirirua-Gill is looking forward to tonight’s decider. “We are excited to play in our first Grand Final,” she said. “This season we set ourselves to make the final, so I’m happy we achieved that goal. “The team is full of con- fidence from last weekend’s win, so we are ready to go.” Having joined the SCA four seasons ago, Teoi said it was a great achievement playing a Grand Final so ear- ly in the club’s history. “Four years of hard work has come down to one game,” she said. “It’s a mas- sive achievement for us and I’m proud of the girls’ efforts. “Workers-Gol Gol are the best team in the compe- tition, so it will be a tough game, but we are going to give it our best shot.” Tonight’s game will be played at Sarah Oval from 5.30pm. Workers, Nichols Point ready for Grand Final • TURF WAR: Nichols Point captain Teoi Kirirua-Gill and Workers-Gol Gol captain Mel Keating are hoping to lead their sides to victory in tonight’s SCA women’s grand final at Sarah Oval.
February 28 2014 Vol 8 No 17
Friday March 14 2014 VOL 8 No 19