Five young referees from across the state have been selected to officiate at this year’s FFA National Youth Championships for Boys (NYC).
Brisbane’s Ryan Elton and Bailey Jacobsen, Sunshine Coast’s Jacob Brown, Liam O’Connor from North Queensland and Eugenio Bambino from Far North Queensland will travel to Coffs Harbour for next week’s tournament.
The NYC will be the first taste of refereeing at a national tournament for Brown and Elton, both 20, who have been refereeing for five and six years respectively.
For 17-year-old Bambino, the youngest of the group and a referee since 2015, and 19-year-old Jacobsen – currently in his fourth year of refereeing – the NYC will also be their first opportunity to officiate on the national stage.
Next week’s tournament will be 20-year-old O’Connor’s second time officiating at a national level in his six years of refereeing.
Football Queensland State Referee Manager David Wiebe said the tournament is a valuable opportunity for the young referees to further develop their skills in different match official roles.
“The NYC is a great opportunity for these young Queensland referees to build on their skills in the middle of the park, as assistant referees and as fourth officials,” Wiebe said.
“They’ll also receive expert coaching from instructors from all around Australia.”
Full-time Hyundai A-League referee Chris Beath and former FIFA assistant referee Jacqui Leleu, both from Queensland, will be two of seven instructors at the tournament.
Eight additional teams will be included in this year’s NYC, with over 600 footballers set to compete including Queensland’s Under 13 and Under 14 Country and Metro teams.
The NYC will be held from Monday, 24 September to Friday, 28 September. Click here for the full draw.
Words: Elizabeth Lepre
Image: Ian Judd