NEW Southern NSW AFL umpire development officer Troy Mavroudis will bring experience from the highest level to his new role in the Riverina.
Mavroudis only retired from the AFL at the end of last season where he fielded as a goal umpire at 131 games, including a couple of finals, an exhibition game in London and a NAB Cup final.
He began work this week at AFL House in Wagga as the replacement for the recently departed Luke Olsen.
Mavroudis was an AFL goal umpire for 12 years and jumped at the opportunity when he landed the job from a list of quality applicants.
The 39-year-old was happy to retire from AFL level in a bid to land full-time employment in a field he is so passionate about.
"I retired last year to get involved in more of a role like this," Mavroudis said yesterday.
"I've always had the passion to get into AFL development...but it was going to be too hard to cope doing both.
"The time was right now and I'm not out of umpiring very long coming into this role."
Mavroudis was a account manager on the Gold Coast and was a goal umpire part-time before the move to Wagga.
He was based in Victoria before that.
Mavroudis would love to join the local umpiring ranks but his involvement is pending the time available due to work commitments.
"I would like to think I will be able to umpire," he said.
"But first and foremost is my obligations to this role.
"The time frame to umpire may be limited and it may be that I will be more of an observer and I might be of more benefit that way too."
Only two days into his new role, Mavroudis is already trying to get his head around the size of the Southern NSW region.
He will work with the Riverina Umpires Association (RUA), as well as umpires from the Hume, Northern Riverina and Broken Hill League competitions.
"It's a massive area and first and foremost I will make myself known to the area, introduce myself and what I'm about," Mavroudis said.
"My key performance indicators will be increasing the number of umpires in the area and giving them the opportunities via the pathway program.
"Also the community and club umpires, give them the resources as they're a very important part.
"Then there is also the school based programs."
Mavroudis hopes to increase numbers in the school based programs by 50 per cent but has smaller target numbers for other areas of umpiring.