Football Queensland announces referee academy panel

Football Queensland have confirmed the 33 members who will be a part of the panel of the newly-established state referee academy.

The match officials will receive training and guidance from experienced coaches in the sunshine state, in a two year-mentorship which focuses on technical, physical and professional development.

“On behalf of Football Queensland I’d like to congratulate the 33 referees selected for the new Football Queensland Referee Academy,” FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci said.

“Since the release of the Strategic Plan we’ve been working hard to improve development opportunities for match officials across Queensland, and we’re proud of the investments and progress FQ have made in that time with the introduction of a range of new referee initiatives.

“It is fantastic to see referees from eight of our zones selected for the inaugural Referee Academy panel, and we’re hopeful that the Academy will provide a pathway for young aspiring match officials from around the state in the years to come,” he concluded.

“The 33 Queenslanders selected to join the Referee Academy in 2020 are all aged between 16 and 22 and have already displayed great potential as match officials,” FQ State Referee Manager Jacqui Hurford said.

“I’m looking forward to seeing them refine their skills under the guidance of the experienced Referee Academy coaches, and I wish them all the best as they join our new Referee Academy.”

The members of the inaugural referee academy panel are listed below.

2020 Referee Academy Panel

Jasmine Bremner Football Brisbane
Taylor Barsby Football Brisbane
Jack Powers Football Brisbane
Oliver Lusa Football Brisbane
Fynnley Leonards Football Brisbane
Rowan Nicholls Football Central Queensland
Lily Storch Football Central Queensland
Bailey Love Football Central Queensland
Thomas Perna Football Central Queensland
Alex Johnson Football Gold Coast
Mitchell Booth Football Gold Coast
Anthony Barnaba Football Gold Coast
Blake Vuksan Football Queensland
Ethan Purdon Football Queensland
Ryan Clarke Football Queensland
Declan Woods Football Queensland
Kirralee Bronkhurst Football South West
Joel Essex Football South West
Lachlan Montgomery Football South West
Riley Arnold Football Wide Bay
Abby Irvine Football Wide Bay
Joshua Dogao Mackay Regional Football Zone
Harlee Carey Mackay Regional Football Zone
Raoul Mackenzie Mackay Regional Football Zone
Safat Page Malau-Aduli North Queensland Football
Senfat Paula Malau-Aduli North Queensland Football
Mark Siandri North Queensland Football
Jethro Owens North Queensland Football (FNQ)
William Obern North Queensland Football (FNQ)
Louise Merritt Sunshine Coast Football
Luca Ferroussat Sunshine Coast Football
Henrik Flynn Sunshine Coast Football
Charlee Lawson Sunshine Coast Football
Philip Panas is a sports journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and industry matters, drawing on his knowledge and passion of the game.

Newcastle Jets secure A-League future with new owners confirmed

Newcastle Jets have confirmed Maverick Sports Partners as the Club’s new owners. This ownership, subject to final approval from the APL and Football Australia, will launch a “new era” for the Jets under MSP ownership.

This massive announcement comes not long after Australian Professional Leagues chairman Stephen Conroy failed to guarantee Newcastle’s future only three months ago.

The statement said that Maverick Sports Partners have confirmed an agreement to acquire the Newcastle Jets Football Club and are now deeply focused on implementing their plans to bring long term stability and success to this Club.

The Group lead by experienced sports administrator Maurice Bisetto who played a major part in the establishment of Western United FC in the A-Leagues.

Maverick Sports Group is an Australian sports consortium based out of Wetherhill Park in Sydney’s South-West.

Newcastle Jets CEO Shane Mattiske confirmed the significant news.

“Today is a hugely significant day for this Club and this community, as we confirm Maverick Sports Partners as the new owners of the Jets,” said Mattiske in a club statement.

“Over the last three years, we have built a strong foundation for the future of this football club, and it is exciting to be beginning a new era with incoming owners who believe in the opportunity that exists with this Club, with this community and with football as a whole.

“Throughout our process, Maurice Bisetto, the consortium representative, and his partners have demonstrated a deep understanding of football and how to bring success. They also understand this community and their plans are very much aligned with the work that is already underway. I know the Group will bring positive new thinking, new connections and a wealth of experience that will drive the growth of this Club moving forward.

“With this transition to a permanent ownership structure, it is important to acknowledge the support that the outgoing ownership group has provided to the Club over the last three and a half years. These owners believed in the importance of this Club to this community and to the A-Leagues’ competition as a whole.

“They have played a hugely significant role in the history of this Club and on behalf of all fans and stakeholders of the Jets I want to acknowledge the commitment and contribution they have made to us all. Their huge support of this Club will forever be remembered.”

Maverick Sports Partners Director Maurice Bisetto is determined to connect with the Newcastle, Hunter Valley and Northern NSW Community.

“We believe in this Club, the A-Leagues and its players and we’re determined to build success for the Jets and this region,” said Bisetto in a statement.

“We have been impressed by the strength of football here in this region. We know there is a strong historical fanbase and a strong participation base here and we want to bring all of these people together for our Men’s and Women’s games.

“Our team at Maverick Sports Partners are absolutely committed to, and very excited, about the opportunity that exists here at the Newcastle Jets. We see this as the beginning of a new era for the Newcastle Jets and look forward to building a truly great Club with the support of this community.”

This news is huge for the league and the Jets financially, with the club no longer being a financial responsibility for the four other A-League clubs that funded them (Sydney FC, Western Sydney, Western United and Wellington Phoenix).

The Jets can easily recruit players and rebuild to become a stronger unit on the field whilst securing stability off it, and the foundation A-League club with a healthy fanbase and great location can continue to exist.

Iconic Lambert Park re-opens after $2m refurbishment

Lambert Park, home of the APIA Leichardt Football Club, officially re-opened on the weekend after a successful $2m refurbishment.

The extensive investment for the iconic local club includes:

– Replacement of the all-weather playing surface

– Improved drainage

– New concrete edge, stairs and fencing around the perimeter

– Improved access with a new ramp to allow access on the field

The ground is gradually improving to become one of the premier NPL surfaces in the country and this is another one of many recent upgrades helped by the commitment of the Inner West Council.

Currently the ground has two main stands on either side of the playing surface. In the southern stands, there are dressing room facilities, a social club with views of the game, press facilities and media facilities.

On Sunday, the new look Lambert Park was the home for the APIA Leichardt vs Gladesville Ravens NPL Women’s game, and the day was spent in celebration of the refurbishment, as the club organised an event.

The event included an official ceremony by Inner West Council pre-game, free ice cream and activations which drew a decent crowd to the game.

APIA posted an update regarding Sunday’s re-opening.

“Lambert Park was filled with Maroon and Blue as over 400 predominantly female footballers celebrated the $2 million Lambert Park upgrade,” APIA confirmed on their social media accounts.

“The day was filled with some fantastic football and some great activations and enjoyed by all.

“The clubs would also like to thank local clubs Balmain & District Football Club, Leichardt Saints and opponents on the day Gladesville Ravens Women’s NPL football for supporting the day.

“It was a special day for football in our community.”

Lambert Park is an iconic ground that has seen some of Australia’s best names start their careers there since it was first used in 1954.

APIA Leichardt Football Club has produced more Matildas and Socceroos than any other club in Australian history.

The ground gets another much deserved upgrade and will continue to host NPL NSW matches across all age groups in both men’s and women’s competitions.

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