Australia has always had a rich history of first class national, international and World Cup referees.
Names such as Eddie Lennie, Simon Micallef, Chris Bambridge, Donald Campbell, Simon Przydacz, Tony Boskovic, Richard Lorenc, Eugene Brazzale, Bill Monteverde, Doug Rennie and Tammy Ogston to name but a few.
Other names that you may not have heard of such as Barry Such, Bill Tattersall, Jim Ouliarus and Brian Tamsett, and Wayne Lennardson are just some of refereeing folk working tirelessly as coaches and instructors for little or no financial compensation to ensure that referees are identified, trained and developed from grass roots all the way to the Hyundai A-league and beyond. There are hundreds of other names across the country too numerous to name individually.
We find ourselves presented with an incredible opportunity to build on a very strong base to continue to “lift the bar” in every aspect of refereeing in Australia.
This weekend heralds a new era in the development and management of referees in Australia where we release the FFA-s three year Refereeing Strategic Plan.
Recently the FFA announced that a new referees committee was established to look at the structure of refereeing in this country. As a result a new strategic three year plan has been created.
The plan is aimed in four key areas:
• Unifying a development and management system of referees in each of the states across the country
• Nationally co-ordinating development and education programs, through a nationally implemented curriculum
• Creating a larger pool of talented officials to supply our elite competitions
• Creating further opportunities to enhance the experience of our international referees
To create the next batch of Hyundai A-League Referees, Coaches and Instructors the FFA is creating a National Talent Pool of referees.
These next generation referees, assessors and instructors will help to supply the elite competitions (A-league, W-League and AFC/ FIFA) for decades to come.
We are looking in every league, branch and member federation across the country for talented officials who with the right training development can make it to the very top.
Essentially the basis of our plan is to recruit and develop more referees and assistant referees at every level, further enhance the consistent training programs and create opportunities at the highest level to get more experience.
We are engaging as many stakeholders that we can to assist us in our quest to create a world class refereeing program, everyone from each of the member federations, AFC, FIFA and the PFA, and the signs are encouraging.
It is a simple plan but one that we at the FFA believe will succeed with a unified all inclusive approach. It is all about developing better referees in line the ever increasing professionalism and standard of football in Australia. The strategic plan is the first step in us achieving our goal.