With Australian football experiencing significant growth in the Illawarra in recent times, the list of representative honours achieved by the region's players has continued to expand.
But it's not just the players who are kicking goals on the field, the region's umpires are also starting to receive some positive attention.
One such umpire is Ben Treanor, an Albion Park junior who was recently selected to officiate at the Australian All Schools Australian Football Championships.
A fair step up from the Illawarra competition, Treanor said it was a great opportunity to umpire some of the best players in the country.
"It was a pretty good opportunity," Treanor said. "I was excited to go down to Tasmania and it was a good feeling to be picked.
"I felt I went pretty well, the standard was pretty high with other umpires and I thought I went well. Overall umpiring at that level was a bit harder with more pressure, but easier because the players were more skilled."
Treanor started to umpire after he watched his sister pick up the whistle and it's a decision he doesn't regret.
While he still plays, currently for the Shellharbour Swans, it's umpiring where he really wants to make an impact.
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The 14-year-old has made a rapid progression through the ranks of AFL South Coast umpiring, with Treanor umpiring men's and women's senior matches on a weekly basis.
While he acknowledges umpiring the seniors can have its challenges, with player and spectator abuse sometimes going too far, Treanor thoroughly enjoys being out in the middle, involved with the games.
With a love for umpiring, Treanor remains dedicated to achieving his goal of one day presiding over an AFL match.
"I'm trying to get as good as I can, taking the steps up through the ranks and seeing how far I can go.
"The next step is probably umpiring in Sydney at a higher level because the south coast doesn't go as high. I'm looking to improve on my skills and fitness and the goal in the future is to umpire in the AFL."
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