[Image: loopii/Football NSW]
Queensland’s impressive showing at the FFA National Futsal Championships has been recognised further with referees Zac Keenan and Yianni Mooney picking up major awards.
Keenan was named Referee of the Tournament for his performances in Sydney, while Mooney received the Junior Referee of the Tournament accolade.
The duo formed part of a strong Queensland contingent at the week-long Championships, joining Rhys Pope, Sam Turner and Referee Assessor Ross Butler in the pool of officials.
Mooney said he didn’t expect to win the Junior Referee award in his debut at the Championships.
“I was very surprised,” Mooney (below; second from right) said.
“Being in my first year at Nationals, I wasn’t expecting it but I’ve listened to the mentors and (taken on board) the coaching – just like players do – from Football Queensland.
“It’s been a really good experience.”
Mooney took charge of the U14 Boys Grand Final on the closing day of competition and is now looking towards a future in the small-sided sport.
“I will continue refereeing Futsal. I just started as sort of a second (role) to football and now I see it as both combined,” he said.
“I just did it in the off-season, now I want to pursue both careers and there are pathways now for referees which is really exciting.
“Also now Football Queensland have announced a full-time referees person which will include Futsal as well so that will be really good for us referees.”
Referee of the Tournament Zac Keenan (above; second from left) praised the quality of the tournament and was enthused by the performances of his fellow Queenslanders.
“We’ve got Yianni Mooney and Sam Turner in particular who are from my region, the Sunshine Coast,” Keenan said.
“I actually instructed them in their referee course and they’ve shown a very high level of development and potential, hence their invitation to this tournament.
“Ongoing, they’ve been very committed to their training and matches and they should be very proud of what they achieved in the week.”
Keenan’s appointments at the tournament included leading the U19 Boys Grand Final on Friday.
The Foxtel National Youth League referee spoke glowingly of the standards of play and officiating.
“It’s always high quality coming to a tournament like this,” he said.
“Being able to have my interstate colleagues with us as well is really great. It’s a really high level of competition and great training as well.”