Overseas talent is nothing new on the fields of New South Wales football, but in Round 20 of the National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition there will be a different kind of elite foreign talent.
Former English Premier League referees Michael Salisbury and David Webb will be officiating two of Round 20’s top-tier NPL NSW Men’s matches with Manly United taking on Wollongong Wolves and Blacktown City hosting Rockdale City Suns penned in as the matches the duo will take over.
Salisbury will take charge of the clash at Cromer Park while Webb will oversee the big encounter at Lilys Football Stadium.
They will also be officiating in the NPL Victorian Premier League as part of their Australian visit.
One of Salisbury’s major achievements as an official was getting his first taste of officiating at Wembley Stadium in May 2010 when he was appointed onto the National League play-off final as an assistant for the match between Oxford United v York City.
As a result from his performances as an assistant referee, he was then promoted into the professional game with his first appointment coming at Macclesfield Town.
After his time in the English lower leagues, Salisbury was then promoted into the English Premier League for the 2014/15 season and was an assistant referee for two seasons as well as achieving a position on the FIFA International list in 2016.
One of his finest moments was ironically his final appointment before being promoted onto the EFL National Group of Referees where he was an assistant referee in the 2016 FA Cup Final between Manchester United and Crystal Palace.
Webb also comes with some quality pedigree.
After beginning his journey as a referee in 1999, he progressed through non-league football in the North East of England before being promoted to the EFL Assistant Referees list and the National League referees in 2008/09.
The last nine years has seen Webb referee in the Championship, League 1 and League 2 matches as well as major English Cup competitions.
Reflecting on his career, his major highlight thus far was officiating in the recent League 2 Play-Off Final at Wembley Stadium in front of 52,000 fans when Coventry City took on Exeter City.
This isn’t the first time English Premier League referees have graced our football pitches in Sydney.
In 2016, Englishmen Stuart Atwell and Peter Bankes both officiated in the NPL NSW Men’s competition kick starting the relationship between our elite competition and the English game.