Football NSW Referee Branch Seminar kicks off the year

a group of people sitting in front of a crowd

Last Saturday, Valentine Sports Park played host to the first Football NSW Referees Branch Seminar since the amalgamation with the NSW State League Branch in late 2023.

The Seminar signalled the start of a new year for referees across NSW, as members gathered to hear about the season ahead, engage in educational workshops with their coaches and be inspired by special guests.

Over 120 Football NSW Referee Branch members were present on the day, illustrating a pleasingly strong retention of members from the 2023 NSW State League Branch.

During the day, members were fortunate to hear from Nathan Magill, Football Australia Head of Referees, and Casey Reibelt, who inspired the group with a presentation on her journey to the FIFA Womens World Cup 2023. Casey officiated at last years world-stopping tournament and shared the set backs, successes and experiences she had along the 4-year journey to taking centre stage.

Recently commenced Football NSW Referee Manager, Emma Kocbek, was pleased with the running of the day and the excitement ahead of the 2024 season.

“The seminar is an important part of preparing our referees for the season ahead along with pre-season training, fitness tests and quizzes,” said Kocbek.

“It was great to see so many in attendance and ready for competitions to kick off.”

Joining Emma in the delivery of the day was Referee Technical Director, Ben Abraham, and the Referee Technical Unit, comprised of referee coaches for each of the league panels within Football NSW Competitions.

Members were taken through various rule changes ahead of the season as well as clarification on the application and interpretation of many rules, including the ever-challenging handball rule.

The Seminar marks the first event for the new Football NSW Referees Branch, with training, fitness tests and trial games already having commenced in 2024.

With a 30-week season ahead and finals back in the mix, the referees group are proud to be reunited and officially under the Football NSW banner as they look to enhance the Competitions and facilitate thrilling football.