KEEPING ‘EM HONEST: Damian Freiberg umpiring a local match earlier in the 2012/13 season.
KEEPING ‘EM HONEST: Damian Freiberg umpiring a local match earlier in the 2012/13 season. Rebekah Polley Emerem

Clermont umpire lands spot on state selection panel

HE CLAIMS he has the best seat in the house, and cricketing umpire Damian Freiberg may just be right.

The Clermont umpire is kept busy on weekends travelling about the region to give a governing finger in the CHCI senior competition.

His ruling judgment has landed him a place on the Queensland Country Umpires Panel and selection to umpire matches in the Australian Country Cricket Championships.

Freiberg's umpiring story started five to six years ago when he started ruling a few games in Clermont.

"I landed a job with the local competition and thought I'd give it a go," Freiberg said.

"I'm really pleased with where it's taken me."

He said he began to take umpiring seriously when he completed his Level 1 accreditation.

"Since then I've applied to join the Queensland Country Umpires Panel," Freiberg said.

Being a part of the panel, he now umpires at North Queensland Alliance games, which he has been doing for the past three years. Freiberg said he would be in Bundaberg in January for the Australian Country Cricket Championships, describing it as the Sheffield Shield of country cricket.

"I'm really looking forward to it," he said.

"It's a nice feather in the cap for an umpire in Clermont."

Another feather in his cap for 2012 was umpiring the under-17 North Queensland versus South Queensland Ron Bushby Shield held at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane.

"That was the best cricketers in under-17 in country associations," he said.

Freiberg said umpiring younger games such as under-17 and under-19 matches in representative cricket meant he gets to watch upcoming cricketers that are the future for state cricket.

"Some of the opportunities you get are seeing the future of Queensland cricket, it's the best seat in the house," he said.

He said it would be great to see more men and women join the umpiring ranks.

"Women are invited, I'd really encourage women to think about it. If they don't like scoring they can become involved with umpiring. It's the same for the fellas too," he said.

"They just need to show some ability, stand behind their decision and cop the flack." Cricket umpire Damian Freiberg.

Standing behind their decision is important, Freiberg said, especially for umpires in today's sporting climate with the use of technology becoming more prevalent.

"I just call it as I see it. I've had to make a tough call," he said.

Not against the use of the decision review system, Freiberg said he sees some benefit in using technology.

"Obviously it rules out the clanger, that side of things. I can see it's got its place but I hope it doesn't become relied upon."

After all, it would be losing the best seat in the house.


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