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Football Queensland to introduce new referee support measures in 2021

Football Queensland have announced they will implement a range of new referee support measures for the 2021 season.

The news comes after a host of successful initiatives were launched across the sunshine state last year.

“Football Queensland is proud to be launching a range of new referee initiatives this year to provide even stronger support and development opportunities for our match officials across Queensland,” FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci said.

“We know that the growth of our game is underpinned by the quality and number of referees and coaches which is why we are so committed to increasing the number of referees in our game by improving development opportunities for match officials at all levels.

“With FQ’s significant investment in referees in 2020, it’s fantastic to see registration numbers already 20% higher than they were at this time in 2019, and we’re confident that these additional support measures we have in place across the state will continue to build on this increase in participation levels around Queensland.

“2021 will see the introduction of seven Referee Coach and Development Officers around the state, a buddy system for junior referees and new assessor and mentor ID tags as part of the ‘No Badge, No Bench, No Ref Room’ policy. We’re confident that we are on track to achieve our strategic target of 2,200 referees by 2022.”

“Football Queensland is committed to creating a family culture amongst our referees across the state through the implementation of a range of additional support measures this year,” FQ Senior Manager – State Referees Jacqui Hurford said.

“The recent announcement of the appointment of Referee Coach and Development Officers in seven of our ten zones is a huge boost for our game, and will assist FQ in the recruitment and retention of referees around the state while providing a new level of support to match officials from a local perspective.

“We’re also about to commence a monthly junior online coaching session and are excited to this year launch a buddy system for our junior referees, with more experienced referees acting as mentors to provide guidance and assistance throughout the season.

“To help upskill our instructors, mentors and referees, FQ has recently delivered instructor workshops in Far North and North Queensland, Wide Bay and Central Queensland.

“In line with the ‘No Badge, No Bench, No Ref Room’ policy mandated across all Queensland competitions this year, all referee assessors and mentors have been assigned identification tags to ensure they are registered and hold a valid blue card, supporting the safeguarding children measures currently in place in our game.

“Some of our clubs are also doing great work to support the recruitment and retention of referees, including Caboolture FC who supported 50 of their club referees through a referee course earlier this year.

“As Football Queensland continues to implement additional support measures, we look forward to welcoming more referees to our game from across the state.”

A list of the 2021 Football Queensland Referee Support Initiatives can be found below.

2021 FQ Referee Support Initiatives

Instructor workshops across regional parts of Queensland

Referee Coach and Development Officers in seven zones

Buddy system for junior referees

Monthly junior online coaching sessions

Referee assessor and mentor ID tags

 

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.

Ivan Franjic: “I’m thankful and grateful that I was able to live my dream”

Socceroos Ivan Franjic

Ivan Franjic’s arrival at historic National Premier Leagues Victoria side Heidelberg United has come via an unconventional journey to say the least.

From his early beginnings in the then-named Victorian Premier League with the likes of St Albans Saints and Melbourne Knights, to playing for Russian side FC Torpedo Moscow, to playing in the third-largest urban agglomeration in Korea with Daegu FC, Franjic’s career has certainly been one to savour.

Whilst his career has seen injury setbacks, a blocked loan and unpaid wages with Torpedo Moscow – and the discovery of a potentially career-threatening rare inflammatory condition known as myocarditis in 2016 – Franjic is grateful to be where he is today and to have had the footballing experiences he’s had.

“I’ve been very fortunate with the success I’ve had over my travels, and I’ve experienced some different countries,” he said.

“It’s been a great journey and I’m thankful and grateful that I was able to live my dream and play for the Socceroos at a World Cup. Some Championships as well, so, can’t complain at all.”

Torpedo Moscow

And as for why Franjic opted to return to the NPL Victoria to take up an opportunity with Heidelberg United, a family connection and the quality of the league spoke for itself.

“My brother has played in the NPL for a fair bit and I’ve watched a few of his games. If you look at the FFA Cup you’ve always got a Victorian team in the semi-finals, so it must be saying something about how good the standard of the league is,” he said.

“I know the coach George Katsakis and he called me and my brother and said he was interested in signing us. And obviously Heidelberg have had success over the last few years where they’ve won a lot of trophies, so, they’re wanting to build a great team to have another successful year once again.

“Whenever you go to Heidelberg you see that they have a decent following and that everyone gets behind them, so it’ll be good. I’m looking forward to playing in the NPL this year and to finally be playing with my brother after all these years.”

Heidelberg United

Next year’s Victorian NPL season will mark 13 years since Franjic departed his then-Victorian Premier League side Oakleigh Cannons to take up an injury-replacement contract offer with Ange Postecoglou’s Brisbane Roar.

It was under the now-Celtic FC coach where Franjic impressed the Roar faithful and built a platform to launch himself into a regular starting berth with the Socceroos at right-back.

As a three-time A-League Men’s Championship winner with Brisbane, three-time Premiership winner with the Roar (twice) and Perth Glory (once), as well as an Asian Cup winner, Franjic has certainly been a key cog in some of Australian football’s most historic sides.

“Obviously, winning the Asian Cup is a massive achievement, it’s similar to someone winning the Euros or the Copa America. But I think in Australia, with soccer not being the number one sport, it’s always hard to get the media buzz of AFL and NRL because they’ve got a huge following,” he said.

“But when you look back on it you don’t realise how high of an achievement it actually was against Asia’s best.

“I’d had Ange as a coach for a few years and he’s no doubt one of the best managers I’d ever worked under. The whole buzz of being in Brazil, with security all around the hotel and obviously Brazil is a football-mad nation, so, everywhere you went people were following you.

“It was exciting, and I thought Australia gave a good account of themselves without getting results in that tournament.”

Each of these remarkable honours were earnt between globetrotting stints with Torpedo Moscow, Melbourne City and Daegu. But before returning to the National Premier Leagues Victoria, Franjic made one final stopover with newly-joined A-League Men’s expansion side Macarthur FC. He gave credit to the side that he helped in their foundation.

“It was no doubt a challenge starting up a new club from fresh and giving it a go. Credit has to go out to all of the staff and the owners; they did an amazing job for a club in their first year in terms of facilities and the stadium. Compared to other clubs that have come into the A-League they were very good,” he said.

Macarthur FC

LaLiga initiative to support grassroots football worldwide

LaLiga

LaLiga has announced the launch of LaLiga Grassroots, in a bid to further advance and improve its bespoke sports and training projects, as well as promote LaLiga’s know-how and methodology.

This initiative is part of a series of international sports projects that LaLiga have been running since 2015 across multiple markets, and its most outstanding new feature is a series of programmes which are set to take place in Spain. The programmes will mainly be held at ESC Madrid, regarded as a state-of-the-art and world-beating sports complex.

Juan Florit, head of LaLiga Sports Projects, will be in charge of the technical and sports side of LaLiga Grassroots.

“LaLiga Grassroots was conceived as a new specialised unit conceived by the Sports Projects team and the International Business and Development team,” Florit said.

“Our activities will mainly focus on the holistic development of young players, international training programmes for professionals in the sector, and projects to promote and support LaLiga clubs when it comes to their academies and running international tournaments.”

This new project represents a further step in LaLiga’s creation and execution of sports projects, an area through which it has enjoyed great success over the last six seasons.

The project is set to find positions for nearly 750 Spanish coaches, as well as provide training for more than 20,000 coaches and 175,000 players in the more than 400 projects carried out across 38 countries.

Javier Hernandez, Head of Business and International Development for the project, was excited to see LaLiga Grassroots finally launched.

“The work we’ve carried out over the years in training players and coaches internationally has taken things to the next level, not only for those who have worked with LaLiga, but also for the league itself and its clubs,” he said.

“We’re convinced that now, with the creation of LaLiga Grassroots and the new programmes that we’ll be running at the ESC Madrid Center, we’ll be able to create better opportunities for everyone.”

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