As the 2020 FFA National Futsal Championships reaches its final day of competition, Queensland referees have been among those in charge of officiating matches throughout the week.
Ten Queensland referees in total were selected to officiate in Australia’s most prestigious futsal event, as they made the journey down to Canberra for the week-long tournament.
Among those selected was 20-year-old Sam Turner from the Sunshine Coast – who despite his age, has already made great strides in his career as a futsal referee.
Football Queensland spoke with Sam in the build-up to the competition’s finals to ask him a few questions about the FFA National Futsal Championships and his journey as a futsal official to date.
Q&A WITH SAM TURNER
Where did your refereeing journey start and how long ago was that?
“I started refereeing outdoor five years ago because my friend was refereeing, and then after a year of doing that I transitioned to futsal and did a course – the rest is history.”
What has your career highlight been to date?
“My career highlight would be receiving the Junior Referee of the Tournament at the 2016 FFA Futsal Nationals, and also being appointed to the INAS competition for Futsal.”
“I also did 2016 F-League, so that was definitely a highlight being on that panel as well.”
How were you selected to officiate at the FFA National Futsal Championships?
“It’s a process through State Titles and the South East Queensland (SEQ) Futsal competition, and then there is a group of us picked.”
“From there they do a fitness tests and some assessments to pick the final group.”
Is there something that makes officiating at the FFA National Futsal Championships special as a referee? If so, what is it?
“Yea, there definitely is.”
“All the different states, the high quality of players – and another big thing is also the referees from all around Australia that you learn from.”
“You also have access to elite coaching material that you wouldn’t get back home.”
What has been the most enjoyable part of this week for you?
“For me it would be refereeing a game that goes smoothly and knowing that I’ve done a good job and the players are happy at the end.”
What are your future ambitions as a referee?
“My future ambitions as a futsal referee would be to get on the F-League panel when it comes back, and to one day to be on the FIFA panel as well.”
Words: Darren Newell