Whistle blowers get their chance
THE FFA National Youth Championships provides not only a pathway for Australia's best young players to develop their skills but also the referees.
Consisting of Australia's best male footballers aged 13 and 14, the tournament provides an opportunity for 24 promising referees from across Australia to gain experience and further develop their refereeing skills.
Selection for the tournament is based on the consistent performance by the referees in their respective Member Federation competitions.
The referees are under the guidance of a former FIFA and Hyundai A-League referee Craig Zetter and his team of referee coaches.
Referees aim to improve their technical understanding and practical interpretation of the Laws of the Game through theoretical discussions and practical match experience.
Tim Danaskos, a current Foxtel National Youth League referee said he was looking forward to this week's experience.
"I'm excited to be in a professional environment up in Coffs Harbour," Danaskos said.
"The tournament is a great opportunity to converse with and learn from the instructors and fellow referees.
"My goal is to referee at the highest level possible and this is a great opportunity to improve my skills."
FFA Director of Referees Ben Wilson spoke about the important referee development pathway provided by the National Youth Championships.
"Most of the current A-League Referees Panel attended a National Youth Championships as part of their development," Wilson said.
"This illustrates the important role the tournament plays in developing the next generation of A-League referees."