Teen umpire to oversee national Aussie rules event

DEDICATED Luca Bisogni is celebrating after being chosen to help oversee a national Aussie rules event.

The 14-year-old will rub shoulders with some of the country's most promising young players after being selected to umpire at the forthcoming national PSSA titles in Darwin.

Footy-mad Luca, who has only been officiating for about 15 months, was picked after impressing assessors at the recent state titles.

The Bangalow-based junior said he was looking forward to testing his skills on the bigger stage.

"It was amazing to get selected," he said. "I was honoured.

"I am excited, but I am nervous as well.

"It is really good seeing football from a different perspective, getting out there and having a different experience in football.

"I love it."

The Byron High School student started umpiring early in 2012 after encouragement from his father Damian.

Since then he has helped officiate at various junior matches in the region and south-east Queensland.

Luca receives regular umpire training and is quickly settling into his role.

"I was a footy fanatic and watched every single game on TV," he said. "I could adapt to the rules pretty quickly.

"I was a bit nervous at first but as I've gone on I have gained a bit more confidence.

"Now I am excited to go out there and umpire matches."

Juniors from across the country will attend next month's tournament, gaining valuable competition experience.

Despite his tender years, Luca, who shares umpiring with his playing duties for the Byron Magpies' juniors, said he commanded the respect of players.

"I never really get people back-chatting," he said. "When they do, I know it's because they are passionate about the sport.

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