IC17 Umpire Spotlight – Josh Davey

While players from the 8 teams competing at this year’s International Cup are deep in preparation, so are three of our umpires who’ll be making the journey to Melbourne in August to officiate at the pinnacle tournament for International footy. Over the coming weeks we’ll be taking a look at how each got into umpiring and what they are hoping to achieve from their two weeks out in Australia.

First up is Welsh umpire and AFL London stalwart, Josh Davey.


Joshua Davey





Playing Experience:

Started playing in 2010 for the Cardiff Panthers who I now coach. I have also represented Wales and played for the first European Legion team against the AIS/AFL Academy Under 17s which featured current AFL players such as Nick Vlastuin and Jaeger O’Meara.

How you became an umpire:

I didn’t make international selection for the European Championships 2013, so instead headed over offering to volunteer and help with the tournament. Unbeknown to me, a few others were doing the same thing and Shane Hill was running umpiring workshops and training throughout the week. I took part in these and ended up umpiring on all the games days, culminating in taking charge of the Grand Final which Ireland won by one point with the last kick of the game. I ended up receiving my Level 1 qualification and was asked to help umpire the Social Grade Grand Final of AFL London. I realised that I was probably a better umpire than a player and have continued ever since.


Umpiring has allowed me to be involved in some great games that I don’t think I would have been involved in otherwise, improve my fitness and travel all over Europe, and now the World as I make my way over to Melbourne for the International Cup.

Favourite Game:

AFL London Premiership Grand Final 2015. North London Lions beat West London Wildcats in a 1 point game that was toe to toe all the way through. A close 2nd was the European Legion vs AFL/AIS Academy game at Harrow School

Umpire Stories:

At the European Championships 2016 in London we got to come together a full group for an extended period. A few of us of rented a house together and we all attended training and games as a team. We also organised a team BBQ during the week, saw some of the sights of London and took an afternoon to get some cricket practise in the nets at Regents Park (the German and Irishman weren’t too impressed on this one). As part of the team we also introduced a penalty book, with each day’s loser having to carry the bag of shame with them.


Selection for the 2017 International Cup has been a huge honour and I hope to do Europe proud. We are seeing a massive increase in the quality of European players and teams regularly playing and it is a mark of how far we have come as an Umpire group that we have had 3 members of our team, including 2 non-Australians chosen to represent AFL Europe.


The goal out in Australia is to do my very best and to give a good account of myself as an Umpire, especially in front of local crowds and umpires. Like I’m sure many of the teams will be looking to do, I hope that we as umpires can showcase that footy is alive outside of Australia and that the abilities of all of who take part of a very good and ever increasing standard. Beyond that who knows…maybe the MCG?