Last week, sixteen (16) match officials were selected from across Northern NSW Football (NNSWF) to take part in the Talented Official Program Camp (TOP), which was held in conjunction with the annual First Touch Football Supplies (FTFS) State SAP Championships in Coffs Harbour across the June long weekend.
Luke Walker (Sawtell), Liam Kalanj (Coffs Harbour) and Joshua Kerr (Woombah) all attended the TOP camp which is for selected match officials which are identified as having the potential to advance to the elite level. During the camp, the match officials officiated the FTFS State SAP Championships, while being coached and assessed by accredited and experienced instructors on their performances as referees, assistant referees and as fourth officials.
Group coaching and development sessions activities were facilitated by experienced assessors and coaches including Brad Carlin (NNSWF), Stephen Laurie (NNSWF), Cameron Burns (NNSWF), Luke Mackney (Football Far North Coast) and Riley Kirkaldy (NNSWF).
NNSWF Senior Officer, Match Official Administration and Development Brad Carlin, who was one of the five instructors of the Championships, was thrilled to witness the upcoming talented match officials manage at such a level.
“It was pleasing to witness the talented young referees progressing through the match official levels across the Member Zones and Referee Branches.
“Opportunities such as the TOP Camp will allow them to grow and develop their skills alongside other talented young match officials whilst being coached by experienced referee coaches.
“They are amongst the match officials across the state who will be considered for selection to the new NNSWF Youth Referee Academy later this year.”
The NNSWF Youth Referee Academy is a training squad for the best performing match officials at the boys and girls TOP camps each year.
“As members of the academy, they will receive specialised advanced coaching to prepare them for selections for future FFA National Championships and other elite referee opportunities,” Carlin said.
As a further initiative, two young referees from the TOP camp were recognised as the ‘Referee of the Tournament’.
Layton Farley, from NNSWF Referees, was recognised at the 11 Years Referee of the Tournament and Joe Morris, from NNSWF Referee was the 12 Years Referee of the Tournament.
Joshua Attard (Tamworth, Northern Inland Football)
Renaldo Caponecchia (Stockton, NNSWF)
Samuel Donald (Redhead, Macquarie Football)
Layton Farley (Kotara, NNSWF)
Timothy Hamilton (Newcastle Football)
Matthew Heathcote (Merewether, NNSWF)
Luke Walker (Sawtell, North Coast Football)
Liam Kalanj (Coffs Harbour, North Coast Football)
Joshua Kerr (Woombah, North Coast Football)
Joshua Mills (Waratah, Newcastle Football)
Joe Morris (West Wallsend, West Wallsend, NNSWF)
Casey Rainger (Uralla, Northern Inland Football)
William Sawyer (Taree, Football Mid North Coast)
Jackson Stuart (Kurri Kurri, Hunter Valley Football)
Brandon Wallace (Taree, Football Mid North Coast)
Jackson Yates (Lismore Heights, Football Far North Coast)