Football Federation Australia (FFA) is continuing to provide development opportunities for female referees at both the elite and grassroots level and is excited about the likelihood of female referees controlling Hyundai A-League matches in the future.
Westfield W-League Referees Casey Reibelt (Qld) and Katie Patterson (NSW) have been attending FFA fulltime referee workshops in Canberra alongside fulltime referees Ben Williams, Chris Beath and Jarred Gillett.
Reibelt and Patterson have completed individual match analysis and debriefings with FFA Elite Referees Coach Eugene Brazzale as well as participating in group theoretical and practical training sessions.
The opportunity for Reibelt and Patterson to attend the fortnightly workshops is funded by the FIFA Goal Project grant awarded to FFA in 2015.
Both officials have also been selected to participate in the PS4 National Premier League (PS4 NPL) Referee Exchange. This exchange program aims to identify and prepare prospective Hyundai A-League officials.
Patterson, who refereed two Westfield FFA Cup matches in 2015, believes the experience gained from the PS4 NPL Exchange and fulltime referee workshops will help her reach her goal of refereeing in the Hyundai A-League.
“Exposure to the top games in the country through the NLP Exchange tests our ability to effectively manage games," Patterson told www.footballaustralia.com.au.
"Along with access to the best coaches in Australia, we are able to learn and grow from each experience.
"We are also involved in fortnightly conference calls, which allow me to balance my self-assessments against a range of sources including the coaching and expertise of the Elite Coach and the knowledge of my peers.
"The fulltime referee workshops have been extremely beneficial in preparing for the officiating on the Hyundai A-League.
"Debriefing weekly decisions, identifying emerging themes relating to fouls, and better understanding team tactics and the role of key play makers allows a more holistic approach to match preparation.”
FFA Director of Referees Ben Wilson spoke positively about the opportunities available to female referees.
“Providing greater opportunities for female referees is a key focus for FFA and we believe we’re leading the way in this area," said Wilson.
"Assistant Referees Allyson Flynn and Sarah Ho have performed strongly on the Hyundai A-League for a number of seasons and last year three Westfield FFA Cup matches were controlled by female referees, which was a historic achievement.
"I’m confident Casey and Katie will use the knowledge and experience gained through the PS4 NPL Exchange and fulltime referee workshops to further improve their refereeing and work towards their goal of refereeing in the Hyundai A-League.”