Football NSW Referees shine at National Youth Championships Girls

a group of people posing for a photo

As NSW Metro teams produced a clean sweep of the National Youth Championship (NYC) Girls’ competitions, Football NSW’s referees produced a similar result in taking out both match official of the tournament awards.

Having sent seven female referees to the tournament in Melbourne, Eliza Skinner and Alana Zic were named the U15 and U16 Match Official of the Tournament respectively.

In addition, the U15 Grand Final featured three Football NSW representatives, with Eliza (referee) being joined by Hannah Sheridan (assistant referee) and Nina Cortese (fourth official) on the officiating team for the match.

Eliza, a current member of Canterbury Referees Association and Football NSW Referees Branch, started refereeing in 2021 and was thrilled to be part of the experience.

“NYC was one of the best times I’ve ever had in terms of my refereeing career.

“Being a part of a professional tournament run by Football Australia was an experience I’ll never forget,” said Skinner.

“Having experienced referee coaches on stand by to help us improve and hearing their own experiences from FIFA and A-Leagues level was an opportunity that was not taken for granted.

“Being selected for the grand final at my very first tournament was extremely overwhelming and stressful but representing Football NSW for this match was an extremely rewarding feeling.”

Refereeing since 2019, Alana is a member of Hills Football Referees and Football NSW Referees Branch, and also paid tribute to the development opportunity the NYC provided.

“NYC 2024 was an amazing experience,” said Zic. “From being at the Home of the Matildas, receiving coaching from talented A-League Men’s, Women’s and FIFA Referees, and officiating with referees from around Australia, it’s an amazing opportunity.

“Representing NSW, being selected as the U16 Referee of the tournament and officiating the grand final was a lot of fun and an honour that I am proud of and will never forget.”

Both officials form part of the Football NSW Referee Academy, which aims to recognise potential talent and provide additional training to Referee Development Program referees as they transition towards senior elite football competitions.

Football NSW Referee Education Coordinator, Nick Young, paid tribute to all the officials who represented their state at the tournament.

“All seven of our referees selected officiated extremely admirably throughout the tournament, culminating in not only dual referees of the tournament but also evident by the semi final and grand final appointments,” said Young.

“A massive congratulations to all their efforts and professionalism throughout the tournament and I look forward to what the future holds for them all.”

Football NSW’s strong referee showing will continue into the National Youth Championships Boys’ competitions being held in Wollongong from the 16-21 July.

a person holding a sign posing for the camera

Eliza Skinner – U15 Referee of the Tournament | National Youth Championships Girls | Day 6 | Home of the Matildas, Bundoora VIC | July 8, 2024 | © Mark Avellino Photography

a group of people posing for the camera

Alana Zic – U16 Referee of the Tournament | National Youth Championships Girls | Day 6 | Home of the Matildas, Bundoora VIC | July 8, 2024 | © Mark Avellino Photography

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