Capital Football officials Nathan Shakespear and Declan Woods have been selected to as part of the new Football Australia National Referee Academy.
The sport’s governing body has today announced the establishment of the Football Australia Referee Academy (FARA), a ground-breaking initiative in the Australian football landscape, designed to transform the Match Official pathway and cultivate the development of world-class officials. This pioneering step demonstrates Football Australia’s commitment to raising the bar for officiating excellence and contributing to the overall success of Australian football.
FARA is aligned with Football Australia’s XI Principles, aiming to create an elite environment for nurturing match officials at all levels, further elevating the standards of Australian football.
FARA adopts a holistic approach to developing match officials, ensuring they are well-prepared for the demands of professional football, both domestically and globally.
By implementing a consistent and comprehensive education framework, FARA bridges the gap between NPL and A-Leagues, fostering seamless transition and growth for aspiring match officials. The Academy is a critical component of the Elite Refereeing Development Strategy, setting a new benchmark for officiating excellence in Australian football.
Upon launching FARA, Football Australia Head of Referees Nathan Magill said: “Australian officials are highly regarded around the world, which is reflected in the record number of Australian officials who are currently on this year’s FIFA Panel of International Referees.
“The introduction of the Football Australia Referee Academy is about ensuring we continue to develop world-class officials, and by implementing a consistent and comprehensive education framework, the Academy bridges the gap between the state NPL and national A-Leagues’ competitions, fostering seamless transition and growth for aspiring match officials.
“The Football Australia Referee Academy is a critical component of the Elite Refereeing Development Strategy, demonstrating our commitment to raising the bar for officiating excellence and contributing to the overall success of Australian football,” concluded Magill.
FARA will see up to a dozen referees or assistant referees each intake commences a two-year program, which features dedicated referee education, training and mentoring to provide greater individual support covering technical, physical, and mental aspects to underpin accelerated development.
After a rigorous selection process, FARA has confirmed its inaugural intake. These selected referees will benefit from specialist training, mentoring programs, and access to the latest technology and resources. This will elevate their decision-making skills and game management, preparing them to excel in professional football environments.
To be considered for FARA, prospects are nominated by their respective state Member Federations, where candidates have matches assessed, submit an individual performance plan and fitness test results, sit an online exam, and then participate in a formal interview before the selection panel confirm the 2023 intake.
For the inaugural Referee Academy intake, Football Australia received over 30 nominations, with twelve referees and assistant referees selected by a panel consisting of former FIFA Referee Jacqui Hurford, former A-League Men’s Assistant Referee Daniel Goodwin, and National Wellbeing Manager Kay Robinson, with the 2023 program commencing in late May 2023.
Football Australia Referee Academy – Inaugural intake, Class of 2023
|Name of Official||State Member Federation||Referee or Assistant|
|Zijad Ahmetovic||Football QLD||Referee|
|Vicky Clark||Football QLD||Assistant Referee|
|Nick Elagin||Football SA||Assistant Referee|
|Mackenzie Janes||Football QLD||Referee|
|Alexis Johnson||Football NSW||Assistant Referee|
|Page Malau-Aduli||Football QLD||Referee|
|Paula Malau-Aduli||Football QLD||Assistant Referee|
|Astro Sakalis||Football VIC||Assistant Referee|
|Nathan Shakespear||Capital Football||Referee|
|William Samsa||Football VIC||Assistant Referee|
|Courtney Van Diesen||Football VIC||Referee|
|Declan Woods||Capital Football||Referee|
CLICK HERE to view the FARA Member Federation Information Pack.