Jacob Mollison is set to make history as Albury-Wodonga's first field umpire for an AFL grand final.
Mollison has been named alongside Brett Rosebury and Matt Stevic to oversee Saturday's decider between Melbourne and Western Bulldogs at Perth's Optus Stadium.
The former Ovens and Murray umpire made his AFL debut in 2008 and has gone on to complete 281 games and seven finals, with Saturday to mark the next step in his career.
While Mollison is the first border product to reach the feat, Albury's Mark Foster has been an AFL grand final boundary umpire on five occasions.
Mollison admitted Tuesday's announcement was a dream come true.
"It's been quite a journey to get here in my 14th year, but I'm just thrilled to have the chance to get out there," he said.
"There's a lot of commitment involved and a lot of support from family and friends, and your fellow colleagues as well, to try and get the best out of yourself.
"There's certainly been a lot of sacrifices during the journey."
Mollison spent a total of eight weeks on the road during the home and away season away from his family.
"This year I got a call one night at 10:30 and was on a plane at 8am the next morning," he said.
"Our whole group has made so many quick decisions to make sure this season goes ahead, and thankfully we're almost at the end.
"We're so privileged to go out and do what we love to do."
Former AFL National Umpire Manager and Wodonga Bulldogs' premiership coach Jeff Gieschen has praised Mollison, who began his umpiring career in the O and M at just 16-years-of-age.
He went on to officiate the league's 2002, 2003 and 2004 grand finals.
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"I remember back to O and M grand finals and 1990 was a classic in how much management they take, and for such a young lad to be umpiring Ovens and Murray grand finals was just extraordinary," Gieschen said.
"He has had to pay his dues and has been through an era where there has been some of the best umpires probably of all time.
"He has had to wait his turn.
"The beauty of it is he is going into a grand final with great experience, great composure.
"He has umpired a lot of footy now."
Long-time Albury umpire Ken Wright also sung Mollison's praises following the announcement.
"It just goes to show with a bit of hard work where you can get to," Wright said.
"It will be great for this area for young people who might think I'll have a go at umpiring."
Mollison would also like to see it inspire those who have ever thought of getting involved in the sport.
"Hopefully it generates a bit of interest and it helps to get some recruits, we always need umpires," he said.
Mollison will now spend the rest of the week preparing for the major milestone.
While it's his first AFL grand final role, it will be the ninth time officiating a decider for fellow field umpires Rosebury and Stevic.
"I'm hoping to go in and feel as comfortable as I did in the prelim," Mollison said.
"No doubt there's going to be some nerves, it would be silly if there wasn't."
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