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
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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.

FIFPRO Asia/Oceania report of AFC Champions League assesses the cost of competition for players and clubs

FIFPRO Asia/Oceania has published a report on key financial findings from the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) flagship club competition, the AFC Champions League (ACL).

The report, AFC Champions League Analysis Report: Counting the cost for players and clubs, was produced alongside sporting intelligence agency Twenty First Group (TFG).

This analysis is in response to the announcement of AFC Champions League Elite (ACLE) commencing in July this year, as revealed by the AFC in December 2022.

Based on TFG’s analysis, insights and feedback from participating players and clubs, the report addresses the feasibility of running ACLE with key factors including on-field quality and competitive balance, attendances and fan engagement, economics for clubs and players, travel and workload, competition design, and football development outcomes.

The research undertaken focusses on the value of introducing ACLE, based on the current operations of the ACL.

“This report analyses the merits and drawbacks of the current AFC Champions League based on various data and the results indicate that the merits do not outweigh the drawbacks for most players and clubs, making it an unsustainable system,” FIFPRO Asia/Oceania Chair Takuya Yamazaki outlines in the report.

“However, this does not mean that the future of football in Asia is bleak. On the contrary, we believe that this economically significant region can lead a discussion for truly sustainable competition formats.”

The report is the most comprehensive public analysis of the ACL and includes recommendations for what the AFC should be implementing.

“For players, the development of competitions is central to their employment conditions and future opportunities. As its primary workforce, the players are determined to play their role to shape a sustainable and innovation-driven future for the football sector in Asia,” Yamazaki added.

World Leagues Forum is involved in representing professional football leagues on a global level. General Secretary Jerome Perlemuter explained that collaboration between all stakeholders in the Asian region would help shape and deliver sustainable competitions.

“FIFPRO’s contribution to shaping the future of Asian continental competitions is most welcome,” Perlemuter said.

“Sustainable football development requires confederations, leagues and players to work together with a common objective to shape high potential continental competitions in a consistent global calendar. In this context, it is important to consider economic, geographical and cultural specificities. We look forward to continuing these discussions with FIFPRO and all stakeholders.”

To see the report in full, you can do so here.

Wellington Phoenix team up with Chinese outfit Tianjin Tiger

Wellington Phoenix have partnered with Chinese Super League team Tianjin Tiger to boost football growth in both nations.

As part of the Wellington Phoenix Tianjin Tiger Sister City Friendship, the clubs have agreed to hold an annual encounter between their men’s first teams.

The inaugural Wellington Phoenix F.C. vs. Tianjin Tiger F.C. Sister City Shield match is set to take place in Tianjin this September, with the second in Wellington next year.

The strategic collaboration was formed after Phoenix general manager David Dome visited Tianjin in September as part of a business delegation headed by Wellington Mayor Tory Whanau.

The club hosted a delegation from Tianjin, and the two sides signed the Memorandum of Understanding at the Mayor’s office.

Phoenix general manager David Dome was thrilled with the partnership going through.

“The mayoral delegation to China last year was invaluable and I’m thrilled about this partnership with Tianjin Jinmen Tiger, which will be of benefit to the club on multiple levels,” he said via press release.

“Not only will the men get to play a Chinese Super League side as part of their A-League pre-season each year, but the academy will soon benefit from an influx of footballers from Tianjin.

“We’re looking to grow our academy to have an international component and Tianjin Jinmen have committed to sending some young players to Wellington to attend training camps in July and we’re discussing the possibility of their juniors being part of a new international academy annual programme.

“International students are essential for the secondary and tertiary education sector in Wellington and we are evaluating how an elite international academy focused on football can be part of New Zealand’s international education offering.”

Wellington mayor Tory Whanau added that the city is excited about the opportunity. 

“I’d like to congratulate David Dome and the wider team for the work they’ve done on this MoU,” he stated via press release.

“I’m beyond stoked that the delegation last September has resulted in this MoU between the Wellington Phoenix and Tianjin Jinmen Tiger. 

“The development opportunities for both the clubs will be invaluable to not only football but also our cities.”

The Phoenix are enjoying a successful A-league campaign where they currently sit top of the table 18 games into the season.

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