Football Queensland (FQ) and Football Federation Northern Territory (FFNT) have reached an agreement which will see Queensland referees train and mentor match officials in the top end.
The program will run for the next two years with about 10 referees set to experience the Northern Territory (NT) and take part in building a new referee department and a positive referee culture.
The partnership is also a great opportunity to forge strong links with a fellow member federation.
FQ Referee Development Manager David Wiebe said FQ will send referees and coaches to help establish a new referee culture in FFNT.
“FFNT have recognised the need to invest in referees; they have seen what we have done and have asked us to help them set up their referee department,” Wiebe said.
“Not only is this an opportunity to help support another member federation it is also a good opportunity for our referees to learn and develop in a different environment.
“In the past FQ have sent referees to The Dallas Cup, New Zealand and England and other states in Australia.”
Queensland currently boasts the most referees (10) of any Australian state to be named on the FIFA panel of International Referees.
FFNT have just completed a year-long review into their game and identified that collaboration with FQ would be an ideal partnership.
Two FQ referees will travel twice a month and a member from the FQ referee department will travel over and conduct courses and assess NT local referees at intervals throughout the two-year program.
Wiebe said the goals for the program vary, with the long term outcome to have a FFNT referee either in the A-League or W-League or be close to it.
He said the development of quality referees will leave a lasting impact across community football.
“Short term is to help establish their referee department and any resources that they may require to do this,” Wiebe said. “It will also involve either myself, or (state referee coaches) Ted Kearney or Mark Simon-Green travelling to NT to run coaching courses and referee upgrade courses.”
The first FQ referees will travel to the Northern Territory on Friday, April 13.