Australia’s first female field umpire will be taking the AFL field this weekend.
The AFL announced on Monday afternoon that 25 year-old Eleni Gloufstis has been chosen to officiate the Sunday afternoon clash between Essendon and West Coast.
After an impressive form over the last two months, Gloufstis, a physical education teacher at St. Bernards College in Melbourne, will be taking the field for her first ever senior AFL game after weeks on the emergency umpire list.
“I’m obviously very excited and very thrilled to be part of the match this weekend,” Glouftsis told Adelaide Now.
Eleni Glouftsis was teaching a class when she got the call yesterday, rang Hayden at lunch. “I was a bit distracted (after that).” pic.twitter.com/mjtHnVoeYL
— Lauren Wood (@LaurenA_Wood) May 15, 2017
Gloufstis started umpiring in 2008 before being selected for the AFL female pathway scholarship in 2014.
Having umpired 33 VFL games over the last two seasons, Gloufstis has also officiated 15 senior SANFL games in South Australia and four JLT Community Series pre-season matches early in 2017.
“She’s umpired in the VFL all this year and she’s going really well. We’re pleased with her progress,” AFL umpires’ boss Peter Schwab told the Herald Sun.
AFL congratulates Eleni Glouftsis.
Set to umpire 1st senior AFL game this Sunday for Ess/WCoast.
First female field ump in VFL/AFL history.
— Patrick Keane (@AFL_PKeane) May 15, 2017
There have been other women to take the AFL field as goal umpires, however Gloufstis will be the first to take an officiating role as a field umpire.
Gloufstis will be following in the footsteps of fellow female AFL umpires Katrina Pressley, Chelsea Roffey and Rose O’Dea.
Pressley became the first ever female umpire in 1998, whilst Roffey debuted in 2004 and umpired the 2012 AFL Grand Final. O’Dea debuted in 2014 at only 21 years-old.
Ralph on Eleni Glouftsis making her AFL umpiring debut: “She can bounce, she’s not going to take any nonsense, it’ll be historic. Brilliant”
— The Run Home (@TheRunHome) May 15, 2017