PROUD David Went hopes to inspire more local umpires after being selected to oversee one of Australian cricket's top-level women's matches.
The 58-year-old will officiate this Saturday's Women's National Cricket League match between the Lend Lease NSW Breakers and the ACT Meteors.
Although he has previously stood at some of the nation's top grounds, this will be the highest level Went has umpired so far.
The Goonellabah-based official said he was delighted with his appointment for the Blacktown International Sportspark clash, one of the top accolades for a non-metropolitan umpire.
"I am very happy and humble to have been selected," he said.
"It is a milestone for me and it shows there is a pathway for country umpires.
"I would encourage any former or retired players to take up umpiring and I hope this might encourage them."
Selection for the 50-over contest caps a solid rise through the state umpiring ranks for Went, who took up officiating about 15 years ago.
After being appointed to the elite NSW Country representative umpiring panel about six years ago, he has impressed captains and match observers with his skills.
The married grandfather of eight has already overseen SCG Country Cup finals at the famous old ground and umpired matches at the Gabba.
Went, who is also treasurer with both the Lismore District Cricket Association and the FNC Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association, said he took huge satisfaction from his role.
"I enjoy seeing talented young players coming through," he said.
"It is also satisfying seeing great players and innings.
"It is challenging but very rewarding when you go to these grounds with so much history.
"There is a lot of pressure to get decisions right, but it's about having confidence and calmness.
"This is a great honour for me."
FNCCU & SA president Mark Templeman said it was a justified accolade for his colleague.
"David deserves this opportunity after a series of consistent performances at NSW Country representative level over a number of seasons," Templeman said.