First female AFL umpire recognised with incredible honour

The AFL’s first female field umpire has been recognised in South Australia with an incredible honour.

Eleni Glouftsis became the first woman to ever officiate as a field umpire in an elite-level Australian rules football match in 2017.

Now Glouftsis has been named as the South Australian Young Australian of the Year for 2019.

The first female AFL umpire, Ellen Glouftsis, officiates during the round 18 AFL match between the Carlton Blues and the Hawthorn Hawks at Etihad Stadium on July 22, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Ms Glouftsis began her umpiring career while in high school and went on to officiate in the South Australian National Football League and the Victorian Football League.

The now 26-year-old then broke into the history books in 2017, with a momentous achievement.

Premier Steven Marshall said all the award winners were inspirational for their achievements and contributions to SA.

“Each individual recognised has conducted themselves with passion and integrity,” he said.

“Whether it be using their skills to help others at great risk, to forge a new path which others may follow, to preserve culture and country or overcome their own challenges to make a difference for others in need.”

The AFL Fixture – how each club fared

ADELAIDE – Despite their disastrous season, the Crows remain a power and that’s reflected in their five Thursday/Friday slots. Four games against Gold Coast and St Kilda and no away trips against Collingwood and Richmond are also helpful. To quote the club: “outstanding”.

BRISBANE – A most reasonable draw for a team on the rise – and one that’s been in the bottom four since 2015. Most of their home games are on Saturdays and they have two rare visits to the MCG. They’re also rapt to host an Easter Thursday game again.

CARLTON – Reap as you sow. Save for the season opener, they’re banished from Thursday or Friday night. So the Blues have branded it a family-friendly draw, with plenty of Saturday and Sunday afternoon games. The wooden spooners play rivals Collingwood and Essendon only once.

COLLINGWOOD – Seven Friday night games and another two on Thursday mean the Magpies headline next season’s fixture. It’s no easy task, and nor should it be for the losing grand finalists, but they have 14 MCG games and no five-day breaks.

Collingwood have been rewarded by the AFL’s prime-time heavy focus in the fixtures. Pic: Getty

ESSENDON – Like Adelaide, there are several bonuses for the Bombers because of their potential, not their performance. Essendon have four Friday night games and their Good Friday clash with North Melbourne is an early-season highlight. Remember, this team has the longest run without a finals win in the AFL.

FREMANTLE – The Dockers have succeeded in reducing their Sunday home games from seven to five and these will also start later. Their opening month also features home games against Gold Coast and St Kilda before the round-four derby. But they only won once away this season and many of their road opponents are strong teams.

GEELONG – The Cats have nine of their home games at GMHBA Stadium again, but they’ll need to hit the start of their season at a gallop – their first six opponents are Collingwood, Melbourne, Adelaide away, GWS, Hawthorn and West Coast.

GOLD COAST – After this year’s Commonwealth Games nightmare, the league has done everything possible to help the struggling expansion club. The Suns don’t play a 2018 finalist until round seven and they’re very happy, saying the fixture suits their home market.

Key GWS ruckman Dawson Simpson has signed a one-year extension with the Giants

GWS – The Giants will know where they sit early, with West Coast away, Richmond and Geelong away in their first month. They will host power clubs Richmond and Collingwood in Sydney and have a Friday night game in Canberra against Hawthorn. Three games at the MCG, too.

HAWTHORN – They’re not a happy team at Hawthorn, with chief executive Justin Reeves lamenting that none of their priority fixture requests were met. They’re also unhappy about a Marvel Stadium home game against Gold Coast. Five Friday night matches is a highlight.

MELBOURNE – The Demons are calling theirs a bumper fixture. Making the top four does that. They have 12 MCG games and four in Thursday/Friday night prime time. But they have a short turnaround for the marquee Anzac eve match and only six days in between trips to Gold Coast and West Coast through rounds eight and nine.

NORTH MELBOURNE – Scoring Essendon as their Good Friday opponent is a big win. They also have four Friday games, up from one this year. The Roos go from Brisbane to West Coast in rounds 18-19 and then face Hawthorn on a six-day break.

PORT ADELAIDE – Power chief executive Keith Thomas gives their draw 9/10. The only top-eight opponent they play twice is Richmond and they have three-straight Friday night games from rounds six-eight. But they’re also on the road from rounds 10-13, including the China trip.

RICHMOND – Provided the Tigers have a solid start, they’ll be well-set for the run home with their last seven games at the MCG. An early-season test will be consecutive road trips against GWS and Port Adelaide in rounds three and four. Playing Collingwood, Melbourne and GWS comes with the territory when you’re now expected to contend.

The Tigers have their last seven games at the MCG. Pic: Getty

ST KILDA – Like Carlton, banished from the Thursday and Friday night lights. They start with a gettable round-one game against Gold Coast, but embattled coach Alan Richardson will want the Saints in decent form for a rough May stretch when they face GWS away, West Coast away and then Collingwood.

SYDNEY – The Swans are happy, having scored six Thursday/Friday games and more day games. They play Melbourne, GWS and Geelong twice, so it won’t be easy, and they are on the road for three of their last four games.

WEST COAST – We’ll know straight away how the Eagles’ premiership defence is looking. After a trip to Brisbane in round one, they unfurl the flag against GWS and then to the MCG for the grand final rematch against Collingwood, before returning home for the Western Derby. But that’s what happens when you’re No.1.

WESTERN BULLDOGS – They missed out on a return to Good Friday, but are pleased with the scheduling of their two Ballarat games. They also start the season with a run of five games in Melbourne. It’s a mixed bag for the Dogs and they only play lowly Carlton and Gold Coast once apiece.

with AAP.