The new arrangement aims to improve referee recruitment and training, streamline administration and communication, and importantly, to enhance relationships between referees, clubs and players.
Peter Hennessy, President of ESFA said ?with 7,500 players and over 250 games played every weekend in winter, we wanted to better support Eastern Suburbs referees.
Football NSW has shown leadership in supporting this proposal?.
Referees will now form a new ESFA Referees Branch to be managed under an ESFA Standing Committee, with full administrative back up from the ESFA office and leadership support from the ESFA Board. Referee development is an important element of the plan as is improved referee coverage at all levels, including women and juniors.
ESFA would also like to provide a pathway for referees from the grassroots to the elite levels of the game as well as recognising and rewarding referees for their contribution to the game.
?This new structure will help remove the ?us-and-them? culture that has existed, as well as support ESFA?s goal of zero tolerance for referee abuse because we recognise how referees are critical to football?s continued growth in the Eastern Suburbs? said Mr Hennessy.
All qualified referees who want to referee games in the Eastern Suburbs are invited to register with the new ESFA Referees Branch.
A recruitment program is also underway with courses for aspiring referees scheduled. The course is suitable for anyone interested in the game whether they are players, coaches, parents or team managers.
Referees are paid for each game and it?s a terrific way to earn some money, keep fit and enjoy the sport. Refresher courses are also scheduled for experienced referees.
?We?re keen to encourage new referees into the game, and have a learner support program for cadets up to age 13. Women and girls will also be actively encouraged to get involved. New senior referees are also required and will be assisted as they move into this area of the game?, said Mr Hennessy.
To view the Referees Coordinator form click here.