Embracing Community Football: A Conversation with Amy Markusic Wed, May 8, 2024 - 9:25 AM

Amy is not just your typical community football umpire; she's a devoted mother, a long-time (25 years) volunteer bush firefighter, and an integral part of the local community football scene. With over two decades of experience, Amy brings a unique perspective and unwavering passion to every Perth Football League match she officiates.

When asked what inspired her into umpiring, Amy refers to a game during her playing career where she felt the standard wasn’t quite where it needed to be. Leaning into her own passion for the game, Amy was determined to improve the umpiring standards by getting in there and giving it a go herself. The fire was lit, and Amy is now one of the more decorated umpires in the PFL.

After three years umpiring junior football, Amy's talents were recognized, leading to her elevation into senior umpiring in 2007/2008 with the PFL (known then as the WAAFL). Since then, she's officiated in various leagues, accumulating an impressive tally of 276 matches by the end of last year.

For Amy, the allure of community football lies in its ability to bring people together from all walks of life. Whether it's players, coaches, or spectators, there's a sense of belonging that permeates the air. It's this community spirit that fuels Amy's passion for the game.

As with any career and passion, not everything comes without challenges. When asked about any barriers that she has experienced, Amy says “Sometimes over the years we have copped a bit of abuse from the players, coaches, and spectators. It has improved a lot since when I first started.

“I’m profoundly deaf and wear bilateral cochlear implants, therefore I have learnt how to overcome barriers with my hearing. This challenge is made easier with very understanding fellow umpires and good teamwork in umpiring to accommodate any barriers I face as an umpire.

“Being a female field umpire is a barrier itself over the years in PFL. I have learnt to overcome it with developing my skill set, setting goals and perseverance and we are still improving over the time.”

Throughout her career, Amy has achieved remarkable milestones, including officiating in three A Grade Grand Finals, and representing her state as both a men's and women's umpire. But perhaps her most cherished moments are those spent in the thick of the action, umpiring hard-fought finals matches from the best seat in the house.

Amy Markusic umpiring the 2022 A Grade Men's Grand Final

When it comes to game day, Amy knows the importance of preparation. Twice a week, she undergoes training sessions, focusing on the laws of the game, skills and running sessions as well go over vision to look at the finer details of the craft. It's this dedication that ensures she's always at the top of her game.

But beyond the technicalities of umpiring, Amy finds true fulfillment in the role she plays in shaping the overall experience and atmosphere of a community football match. By fostering positive relationships with players and coaches and embracing the culture of the game, Amy contributes to creating a safe and enjoyable environment for all involved.

Amy points out “We as umpires have a duty of care to uphold the values of the game to respect, fairness, trust, and integrity of the game. Also, we umpire to the laws of the game and apply them within the spirit of the game.

“By doing so we protect the players on the field and it’s a safe place for them to play community football in PFL.”

Looking ahead, Amy hopes to see positive changes in the culture surrounding umpiring and game day behaviour. She advocates for more education and awareness campaigns to promote respect for umpires and eliminate any form of abuse. Additionally, Amy believes in the importance of providing better support and pathways for umpires at the league level.

Amy highlights, “I truly love the game and I have a lot of passion for football therefore that’s what keeps me motivated to continue umpiring.”

Amy Markusic umpiring the 2023 State Women's Game

PFL CEO Andrew Dawe exclaims “Amy is an inspiration, not just for umpiring but for the wider community football landscape. It’s exciting to have someone of Amy’s skill, passion and integrity, and we look forward to seeing her continue to being a leader in our community.”

In Amy, we see more than just an umpire. We see a testament to dedication, resilience, and community spirit. As she continues her journey on and off the field, Amy serves as an inspiration to us all, proving that with passion and perseverance, anything is possible.

Amy Markusic’s Achievements up to 2024:

  • 3x A Grade Grand Finals 2014, 2018, 2022 
  • State Men’s Umpire WA vs SA 2014 
  • State Women’s Umpire Vic vs WA 2023 

Enter your e-mail and subscribe to our newsletter.