A call has gone out for more youngsters to pick up a whistle and become AFL umpires.
AFL North West umpires coordinator Graham Brown wants more young players to undergo umpire training so they can officiate when not playing.
"It just makes it a bit easier if they've got someone who knows the rules that are umpiring," he said.
"We're struggling with poor old clubs finding an umpire ... That's what I'd like to see: a few more having a go.
"I get to hold their hand while they're learning: they don't get thrown in the deep end.
"There will be a senior umpire with them all the time, to sort of provide advice or encouragement, because we end up with about 40 people telling us we're doing it wrong.
"Where there to encourage [the young umpires] ... we give them feedback on how they can improve their umpiring.
"Generally, we've had a really good run with some junior umpires over the years, but we just need some more this year."
It is hoped AFL North West will launch the season in mid-July, after being grounded because of the coronavirus pandemic.
"But I want to get the umpires starting to train now and up and running," Brown said.
The Leader revealed last week that AFL North West umpires had agreed to take a 17-per-cent pay cut this season to help ease the sport's financial burden as a result of Covid-19.