Anger builds over ref ‘crisis’

11-07-2018 by admin

Football Wagga referee Henri Moreels

Football Wagga lost six referees qualified to officiate senior competitionsin the off-season creating a referee shortage.The deficithas disruptedthe men’sfirst grade competition.

Sunday’sgame betweenLake Albert and Young was deferred becausethe association could not supply a referee.Lake Albert coach Michael Babic was very disappointed that his team missed the match.

“It slows our momentum a little,” Babic said.

“It’s poor preparation before a big game next weekend.”

Lake Albert will play Young during the bye weekend in June.

A week earlier, Lake Albert met withTumut in Tumut, however no referee fronted the match.

Tumut club member Rodney Anderson stepped up to officiatethe match.

A communication error prevented the referee from showing up at Tumut and Football Wagga insists the error has been fixed.

However it’s not the first time Tumut has beenleft in the lurch.

According to Tumut coach Matthew Lopezthey have never been supplied with linesmen at home games, so they managewith justone referee.

“It’s a real shame we don’t get enough refs,” Lopez said.

Junee and Young are facing the same problem; players reportit’s not uncommon to be refereed by one or two officials.

Clubs based outside of Wagga are the worst-affectedaccording to Junee player Travis Weir.

“Clubs pay for their service and it has been very poor so far,” Weir said.

“I can’t fault the referees for the job they do.

“They aren’t going to get everything right, but the out of town clubs suffer a little because of the shortage unfortunately.”

The shortage has been amplified by a five per centboost in playersregistered in the Football Wagga competition this season.

Football Wagga is on the recruitment drive; promoting refereeing courses through itsnewsletter.

“Ouraim is always to have 100 per cent of games covered,” association president Erwin Budde said.

“Our most important consideration is having a centre ref.”

Football Wagga was dealing with the “perfect storm” on the weekend according to Budde.

“We had a bit of a struggle on the weekend with five or six refs away at a training event,” he said.

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