Football Federation Australia has announced that Westfield W-League Referee Lara Lee (QLD) and Hyundai A-League Referee Jonathan Barreiro (VIC) have been selected for the 2016 National Officiating Scholarship (NOS).
Run by the Australian Sports Commission (ASC), the NOS program focuses on the professional development of elite match officials through a series of workshops and mentoring programs.
Former FIFA Women’s World Cup Referee Jacqui Hurford and current FIFA and fulltime Hyundai A-League Referee Jarred Gillett have been selected to mentor Lee and Barreiro respectively.
Speaking prior to the opening workshop on the Gold Coast, Lee said she was relishing the opportunity to further develop as a referee.
“I am hoping to develop a range of skills to improve my preparation for matches such as nutrition, mental alertness, and mental preparation. I’m also excited to referee at the Dallas Cup in March and get exposure to international football,” Lee said.
Barreiro, who was involved in the FFA-PGMOL exchange in 2015, is also looking forward to the program commencing.
“I am excited by the opportunity to interact with referees and umpires from other codes, such as AFL and Rugby, so that we can share ideas and learn about different approaches to sports officiating,” Barreiro said.
“I also hope to take advantage of the services provided as part of the scholarship, including access to specialists in vision, recovery, psychology and nutrition.”
FFA Director of Referees Ben Wilson highlighted the success of FFA’s involvement in the NOS program over the previous 10 years.
“Twelve current Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League officials have previously been involved in the National Officiating Scholarship program which demonstrates the important role it plays in developing elite officials,” Wilson said.
“We believe the experience and opportunities that the program offers are invaluable and we look forward to our continued involvement.”
Barreiro and Lee will be looking to follow in the footsteps of previous scholarship holders Jarred Gillett and Kate Jacewicz. Since graduating from the program, Gillett and Jacewicz have become highly respected national and international referees.
The NOS Induction Workshop will be held on the Gold Coast from 25 – 28 February 2016.