FORMER Warrnambool umpire Kieran Ferguson has claimed a major award for his on-field endeavours.
Ferguson has been named the Victorian Football Umpires’ Association best first-year boundary umpire.
For Ferguson, 19, it was the culmination of a successful first season umpiring in Melbourne.
His season included officiating in TAC Cup and VFL reserves games, combining the duties with his first-year pharmacy studies at RMIT.
The award has seen Ferguson catch the eye of the umpiring fraternity hierarchy and he has been invited to try out for the senior VFL umpiring panel.
“They are having time trials at the end of January and if I do all right in those I am a chance to get on the senior list,” Ferguson said.
“It would be good to get a chance at senior level. It is good being here in Melbourne as there are a lot of opportunities.”
Ferguson started umpiring in 2006 when he was looking for a way to make some pocket money.
He was no stranger to the umpiring set up with his dad Andrew long established as one of the best central umpires in the district.
While his father has forged a reputation as a central umpire, Ferguson is happy to continue plying his trade running the boundary.
“The crowd leaves us alone. The centrals cop most from over the fence,” he said.
“It is a good way to have a run around and keep fit.
“I never really grew up as a big football fan but over the years, being so close to it, I have come to enjoy it.”
This year, Ferguson got to run around on the Melbourne Cricket Ground as the boundary umpire of the Herald Sun Shield school final.
He is now keen to reach the highest level and maybe go all the way to the AFL.
“I will be in Melbourne at school for at least the next three years, so I will keep working hard on my umpiring and see what happens,” he said.