Canberra’s FIFA accredited Futsal referee, Chris Colley, believes the FFA National Futsal Championships are vital to the development of both established and aspiring officials looking to make careers in the sport.
With plenty of focus on the players during the weeklong event, Colley sees the annual competition as a vital stepping stone for officials that come from around Australia to take part in the week long championships.
“The bulk of the referees come from New South Wales but there are also referees from Queensland, ACT, Victoria and South Australia,” said the ACT’s only FIFA Futsal referee.
“It’s an excellent opportunity to referee at a very high standard at the Nationals and we expect referees to be at a similar standard so they have the opportunity to be exposed to better quality games.”
“This tournament is vital to referee development and it’s an excellent opportunity for them to really learn.”
“The sport of Futsal is very underdeveloped nationally and there’s a chance for referees at the National Championships to actually get in and talk to referees from interstate.”
“This is the best yearly competition in Australia so it’s really important especially for up and coming referees for further careers in refereeing.”
Despite reaching the pinnacles of Futsal refereeing, Colley will line up for his fifth championships.
“I always enjoy refereeing at the Nationals.”
“This will be my fifth championships refereeing but before that I was playing and coaching so I’ve been coming to Canberra for the last fifteen years before moving down here.”
“I enjoy the opportunity refereeing with the younger kids because it gives us all a buzz so it’s good fun”
With only four FIFA Futsal officiating badges on offer for Australian referees and strict criteria, competition is tough to maintain the accreditation from year to year said Colley.
“It’s very fierce with only four spots but with all the good juniors coming up through the ranks it makes it difficult for me to maintain my [FIFA] badge.”
“As a sport it’s getting there and as referees we’re moving in the right direction.”
Source : Football Federation Australia
Published : 7/1/2009