New England teens Jonathan Dunbar and James Wallace have participated in Northern NSW Football’s Talented Official Program camp.
Dunbar, 15, is from Armidale, and Wallace, 17, hails from Moore Creek.
Sixteen young match officials, 18 years old or under, were chosen from across all of Northern NSW to take part at the camp.
It was held in conjunction with the annual Telstra State SAP Championships in Coffs Harbour across the June long weekend.
Over the three-day weekend, the youngsters officiated at the championships while experiencing specialised coaching and assessments on their performances as referees, assistant referees and fourth officials.
Brad Carlin, a NNSWF senior officer – match official administration and development, was excited to see the upcoming talented match officials officiate at such a level.
“It is pleasing to see talented young referees coming through our match official ranks,” he said.
“These young referees were chosen by their respective zones and referee branches as they showed obvious talent and the capacity to develop along the pathway right to the highest levels of officiating.
“Opportunities such as the TOP camp will allow them to grow and develop their skills alongside other talented young match officials whilst being coached by experienced referee coaches.”
Match Officials who attended the camp were assessed in each match during the Telstra State SAP Championships.
They participated in a debrief session with assessors at the end of each game to review their performance and identify key focus areas for them to work on.
Group coaching and development sessions activities were facilitated by experienced assessors and coaches.
They included Luke Mackney from Football Far North Coast, and Newcastle-based match officials Stephen Laurie, James Cleal, Jake Southward and Carlin.
As a further initiative, two young referees from the camp were recognised as the referees of tournament. Isaac Peachey, from Football Far North Coast Referees, was named the 11 Years Match Official Champion, and Sam Charlier from NNSWF Referees was the 12 Years Champion.