FOOTBALL fans may be used to seeing Dean Margetts on TV screens, running around the field with 36 AFL players.
One of Australia’s longest-serving umpires, Margetts has 264 AFL games and 105 WAFL games under his belt since his career started in 1998.
But he took on a different role recently, umpiring his 10-year-old stepdaughter’s junior game at Baskerville Oval.
“Everyone was excited to have a proper umpire, as they called it,” Margetts’ partner Catrina Fyfe said.
“He really enjoyed it as well.
“He was impressed by the skills of a lot of the players, but he said there were a few rules he wanted to see changed because they were too hard for junior umpires.”
The Belhus resident said her daughter had been playing football since she started Auskick when she was five years old.
“She is the only girl in her junior football team at Upper Swan,” she said.
“She could play with the girls but she likes playing with the boys, and she probably will for as long as she can, until Year 7 or Year 8.
“Jaime is good in the ruck, she can tackle, she can kick; she’s got her mind set on playing AFL in the women’s league when she’s older.”
Margetts has been taking it easy since he suffered a midflight medical emergency in March on his way back from a NAB Cup game.
The flight from Melbourne to Perth was forced to make an emergency landing in Adelaide after an ulcer in his stomach burst.
“He was in Adelaide Hospital for two weeks,” Ms Fyfe said.
“Then he couldn’t do anything for another two weeks when he got home.
“He umpired a WAFL Colts game on the weekend; he’s happy to be getting back into it.”
Ms Fyfe said although umpiring at junior level was not as full-on as AFL, some parents took the game a bit too seriously.
“You’d be surprised,” she said.
“There are still a few parents on the sidelines who yell, but we are talking 10-year-olds playing footy.”
Ms Fyfe said Margetts would umpire a few more WAFL or VFL games before he was considered for AFL.
“He hopes to be back for round 11,” Ms Fyfe said.
“But he will be back umpiring junior footy again this weekend.
“When he gets back into AFL it might make it a bit tricky with travelling, but if he can do it he will.”