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    LEADERSHIP TEAM: AFL Wimmera Mallee Umpires has announced its 2022 coaching structure, including, from left, umpiring director and head coach Cameron Pickering, development coach Frank Marklew, assistant coach Ash Wright, boundary umpire and fitness coach Jackson Walsgott and goal-umpiring coach Dave Thomas. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER
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    Tom Houlihan.

Cam Pickering Victoria's top umpire coach

AFL Victoria umpire coach of the year Cameron Pickering of Horsham has used his accolade to talk up the achievements and resilience of his umpires group.

Mr Pickering said the award was recognition for a lot of hard work that had gone into establishing the Wimmera Mallee umpiring brand.

“We’ve taken some great steps when I suppose other umpiring groups have been struggling, so thanks to all the clubs, communities and leagues for supporting us in the things we’ve been trying to implement in the past 18 months,” he said.

“We’ve bucked the trend and a lot of what this recognition is for has been about uncomplicating some things and just showing how great it is to get involved in this game.

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“It’s also acknowledging other past coaches of mine.”

Mr Pickering, 43, said he started coaching when he was 16 after continuing to suffer injuries when returning to play football from a severely broken leg.

“The opportunity arose in a single conversation from umpiring legend Maurice Rudolph who said, ‘I reckon you should have a go at field umpiring’ and I’m now forever grateful,” he said.

Mr Pickering’s state recognition came at the same time AFL Wimmera Mallee Umpires announced an unchanged coaching structure for next season.

Mr Pickering will be umpiring director and head coach, Ash Wright will be assistant coach, Frank Marklew development coach, Dave Thomas goal-umpiring coach and Jackson Walsgott boundary umpire and fitness coach.

The group has also confirmed radio station 3WM as its major sponsor.

Mr Pickering said anyone keen to join umpiring ranks could get in touch via the group’s AFL Wimmera Mallee Umpires page, call him on 0428 922 589 or turn up at a training night, at Sawyer Park or Horsham City Oval during pre-season, or Horsham College Community Oval when the season was underway.

In other AFL Victoria Community Football Awards, Tom Houlihan from Harrow-Balmoral Football Netball Club won a Country Merit category.

The entire November 24, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire November 24, 2021 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!