HE MAY be young, but Tom Lyon is certainly not intimidated.
Set to become the youngest ever central umpire in a Ballarat Football League seniors game today, Lyon will officiate in the match between Melton South and Ballarat at Melton Recreation Reserve.
Aged just 15 years and two months, Lyon has set a new benchmark, easily eclipsing the previous youngest umpire mark, set by Dylan Burns when he was 16, who will actually be residing over the same match.
Having spent four years in his younger days running the lines as a boundary umpire, Lyon turned his attention to calling the shots in the middle of the ground last year.
And he has not looked back.
Having quickly risen through the ranks and umpiring seniors in the Central Highlands and Maryborough Castlemaine District football leagues, Lyon has now achieved his biggest call up to date with a BFL game.
“I was pretty proud when I found out I was the youngest umpire ever,” he said.
“I’m exciting about getting out there, but it’s just another game really.”
Still a player with Sebastopol in the under-16.5s, Lyon said he would continue playing at least another year before deciding between the two, but he was yet to make up his mind as to which way he would lean.
Ballarat Football Umpires Association operations manager Liam Brady said Lyon had a bright future ahead of him.
“He’s shown tremendous improvement this year, he has come along really fast,” he said.
Brady said the help of Lyon’s mentor Dave Taylor (who will coach alongside him at Melton South) as a development coach Phil McGrath and senior umpires coach Simon Harrison, had proved crucial in the youngster’s development.