Former Cobra makes Senior AFL Umpiring Debut

05 Jul 2019

Congratulations to Former Cobras player - Andrew Heffernan who on July 7th makes his AFL Field Umpire Debut at the MCG officiating Carlton and Melbourne.

Andrew started umpiring in the YJFL as a boundary umpire when he was 12 in 2005. He then changed to field Umpiring half way through the season.

Andrew played school footy at the same time as well as Cobras. Andrew played Cobras for six seasons in total before school football and umpiring meant he stopped playing Cobras.

Like many boys, Andrew saw umpiring as a way to earn some good money as a 12 year old and something he could carry through his teen years.

Andrew says, "I also saw it as an opportunity to be involved in a high level of the game down the track."

Fourteen years after that first run at Canterbury Oval, he's reached the big time with his first senior game at the MCG.

Andrew says, "I encourage anyone who loves footy, wants to earn some pocket money or stay fit to become involved. It can be challenging at times, however character building and rewarding at the same time. As the game expands more umpires are needed."

There’s an ongoing shortage so please contact the YJFL if you want to get involved!


2005 – 2009 – Umpired at the YJFL (Boundary & then field).
2010 – 2012 – Umpired at the VAFA (Victorian Amateur Football Association).
2013 – Trialled successfully to be on the VFL Development List (TAC Cup & VFL Reserves)
2014 – 2018:  Promoted to VFL Senior List, umpiring VFL Senior Football. Umpired 91 games to date.
2017 – 2018: Promoted to be an AFL Rookie Field Umpire (Remain umpiring VFL Football but sit on the bench as an emergency for a number of games during the AFL season). 
2019 – Elevated to the AFL Field Umpire List. 34 Contracted Umpires. There are 27 spots each week so has umprired at VFL and other State League competitions until this weeks opportunity to officiate in his AFL game arrived. 

Well done Andrew, and good luck on Sunday. Maybe he will one day catch Shane McInerney who umpires a record 496th Senior Game this weekend!

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