Friday, May 15, 2009

Metro should stay top of Division One

Division One leaders Metro should have few problems in winning against fifth-placed Nelson Eastern Suburbs at home at North Chigwell on Saturday.

Metro have 13 points and Nelson just 4, which shows the huge gulf between the two sides.

Metro will be missing defenders Matthew Gasparin and player-coach Darrin Chaffey, both of whom are in Melbourne.

Midfielder Aaron Marney is doubtful after straining a hamstring against Prospect Knights in the State-wide Cup match last weekend.

Paul Hunt, John Ramage and Danny Cowen are the likely replacements, while Andrew Rubenach will be coach for the day.

“We’ve only played Nelson the once this year in the Summer Cup, which was a pretty poor standard game for both teams,” said Chaffey.

“Although we will lose some experience with the players that are unavailable, the guys stepping in are more than capable and I think our speed, along with a few positional changes, will cause a few problems for Nelson.

“I’m confident we can continue our winning run.”

Nelson’s Luke Wallace and Robert Brooke are both doubtful with knee injuries, but Craig Stockdale, Lewis Gibbs and Adam Mills return.

Natsuki Futumura and Dean Melville may come in if required as cover for injured players, while under-19s striker Andrew Gaskell is on the bench again and will come on in the second half.

“We were very undermanned last week against Riverside, but the players we had worked really hard and we need to go into this match with the same attitude,” said Nelson coach, Michael Roach.

“Captain Richard Flood will be out for at least six weeks and it will be a tough game, but we are hopeful of getting something out of it in what will probably be very difficult weather conditions.”

Second-placed Taroona host third-ranked Beachside at Kelvedon Park on Saturday in a vital match for both sides as they attempt to stay in touch with Metro.

Taroona have 10 points and are 3 points adrift of Metro, while Beachside have 9 points.

Taroona, playing their first game in four weeks, will miss Hugo Luttmer because of a broken bone in his foot, and Toby Dove, who has a broken collarbone.

Striker Chris Cox is still recovering from a hamstring injury and is doubtful.

Duncan Carey, Mark Gates and Phil Gale are possible replacements.

“All those boys have an eye for goal, but they will need to take their chances against better opposition than they’ve been up against most weeks, so it will be a big challenge for us,” said Taroona spokesman, Ben Horgan.

“Beachside have got a lot of very good, experienced players and we’ll need to be at our best for 90 minutes, which can be tough after having not played for a few weeks.

“They will be pretty happy with the fight they put up against Zebras in the State-wide Cup, so this is a real danger game for us.”

Beachside welcome back the experienced Colin Shepherd and will include former Taroona players Jason Szoka and Alex Bigg.

“We are looking forward to the challenge of playing Taroona, who have to be one of the favourites to be promoted from Division 1 this season,” said Beachside player-coach, Nathan Robinson.

“They have had an excellent pre-season, including their participation in the Hudson Cup, and have already drawn with current leaders, Metro.”

The remaining match of the round is a bottom-of-the-table clash between second-last Christian United and last-placed Hobart United at the former’s Sherburd Park headquarters.


Carbo said...

I believe that there might be a referee shortage this week and some of these Div 1 games will have no officials

Chaffey said...

With valuable points at stake for promotion / relegation no Div 1 or Premier game should go ahead without Referees that are qualified for that standard. I would suggest if any of these games have insufficient officials, they should re-schedule the match.

Amazed said...

All div 1 matches will have a referee assigned - but unlikley to have two assistant referees.

Rules of Competition indicate home team has to supply a referee if none is present.

Postponing wouldnt magically produce new referees!!

Beachside said...

so a random club official with no qualifications and unknown bias should be given the opportunity to referee a game which may effect promotion/relegation, because no one else is available? this has to be fixed. it is bad enough in div 2 and div 1 womens leagues that no refes can be found.

Why don't FFT pay the referees twice as much - for each player it works out to being 1 or 2 dollars extra per game, or about $30 a season extra per player. why would anyone ref a game of soccer and receive non stop abuse for $30, for 2 hours work (plus travel?

Carbo said...

I thought FFT employed a referee development manager to help encourage new people to undertake refering duties.
From what i have seen the last few years the numbers have gone backwards not forwards so this would suggest that he and FFT are not doing there jobs.
If FFT can not get 3 officials per game for Premier and Div 1 per week, in my book thats 21 officials per week, they are in trouble.
For a competetion that is based on promotion for the league winners it is a disgrace FFT can not supply the required 3 official per game and should be ashamed for conducting a competition of this nature.

Amazed said...


Am sure the pay scales and other conditions will be reviewed before next season commences.


Div One rarely get 3 officials - been that way for years.

Northern Premier League often have less than 3 officials.

Is it the poor remuneration?
Is it the abuse?

FFT have had many people complete the introductory course at both ends of the island but few make it onto the field and fewer stay at it longer than 12 months - so no wonder there is a shortage of people willing and capable of doing Premier League and Division One games.

Have either of you considered it?

Carbo said...

Most Saturdays there is only 2 premier league matches, surely there should be sufficient numbers to have at least two refs for a div 1 game not like this week where they are lucky to get even 1.
If most refs are dropping out after 12 months maybe the FFT referee Develoment manager would have found the reasons for this by now an addressed them, but from the outside it seems that this is not the case.
The level of pay may have some reason for this but i would also suggest that maybe the service and support that fft are providing for these refs is below standard.

Ril said...

I'm glad this topic has been brought up for discussion, as there appears to be little action despite the decline in numbers of referees over recent years, and that's even after hiring a Referee Development Officer. In recent posts by people involved with FFT/Refereeing on previous blogs on similar topics, it appears they seem in denial for some of the issues, and definitely not coming up with anything to resolve them.

I used to be a referee, who was only doing it due my love for the game, and to help out with the obvious shortage of referees. I no longer am able to due to other commitments, but without them, I doubt I would return due to many reasons. Below are the main issues that come to mind, and I'm sure would be involved in many of those new referees not staying around for long.

1) Pay: Yes, I did it for the love of the game, and was not in it for money. Although when you factor in over 2hrs for each game, plus travel time, the money is not enough compared to any other type of weekend work, and when giving up a large chunk of your limited spare time, you'd want something to make the effort worthwhile. Also to keep the younger refs involved, instead of taking up retail jobs for double the pay.

The average new referee will begin in Social leagues (at best, the younger ones in youth leagues where the pay is much less). On average they may have one assistant's role and one main referee role for the day. That earns them $51 for over 4hrs work (being instructed to be there 30-45mins before games, and never mind travel time/money) in Social leagues.

The rates for various leagues are also unbalanced. When comparing the standards of games, and the aggression of the players, how could you possibly pay the same for Women's Division 2 as Men's Division 2 & 3, those leagues should be as much if not more than Div 1 Reserves, as the quality of teams/games are better for the majority. Even with an assistant only being paid half as much as the main referee would be questionable to some degree due to the poor rates for most leagues.

2) Poor procedures: Why in this modern day should referees be required to mail/drop in signed match reports. It should all be done online, and scanned/emailed match reports if necessary. I know the local football (AFL) leagues don't require any of the above for their umpires.

Also, why should a referee have to personally phone the Referee's Development Officer to report a sending off (at any level), when again there's the online system for reporting such things. I imagine some of the younger refs may not send off a player if it is only marginal to avoid the hassle.

3) Poor placements: There’d be many examples, but one that’s come to mind is seeing young referees being rostered for one assistant’s game at Kingborough, when they live in the Northern suburbs. So their parents drive 1/2hr each way for their kid to earn around $15 from 3hrs (travel+game). Why would the parents encourage them to continue refereeing, when they could drop them off at a nearby shop/restaurant and go about their weekend, and pick them up after without having to give up half their day for nothing also. All young referees that can’t drive should only be rostered to ref at local/nearby grounds. I’m not saying rostering would be the easiest thing to do with a limited number of people, and I imagine a limited amount living near Pontville etc. although it could still be handled a lot better, and it might increase the amount of people you have to choose from for placements!

3) Lack of organisation from clubs: This would be seen as bias, but I've played for a club that at all levels I've refereed/played at, each team is able to present an accurate team sheet to the ref before a game. Some others do, but unfortunately the majority of teams/clubs fail to do this easy task, making the referee have to chase it up with each team, often which ends up having players missing required rego information. Often when reporting online, the players are missing also due to FFT admin errors. There should be fines for any clubs that fail to uphold this simple task correctly, currently there's no punishment, so no change in habits.

4. Abuse: Every referee has got to expect and handle some, and personally it's water off a duck's back if it ever happened to me. Although I did notice the social leagues are probably the worst offenders that don't seem to show appreciation for the rare refs they might get. They don't seem to realise, that as the newer refs come up through these leagues, it is probably their lack of respect that is the reason they so rarely get a ref, because not many survive.

Along with the above, there are other reasons, but I've gone on long enough! It definitely needs to be addressed though.

Actually before I go, instead of just picking out the negatives, I'll add one constructive point:

Why doesn't someone at the FFT (after fixing the above) come up with some sort of incentive to get more players to ref a few games during the year whilst they are so short? ie. A discount from your fees after refereeing a certain amount of games. Or for social league players, a guarantee that for each weekend they referee a game, they will receive a referee at their own team’s game, I’m sure that would inspire a few more takers.

Think of the difference if they could get one player from every second team (1 in 30 players) to ref 2 games every second week maximum. Obviously there's lessons/registration that would be required, but that could be adapted to some online training/testing also for those that have played a certain number of years for those unable to make the required lessons in person. Although the latter would need to be done by the FFA I assume, as it (along with everything else probably) would be beyond the realms of the FFT!

For those interested, you can find the pay rates on page 12 of

Football devotee said...

1. Attempts to get the FFT Board to approve more than nominal increases have been fruitless – they claim the clubs cannot afford it. Even asking for a loading to cover fuel costs was rejected. They were advised that the shortage of referees was partly due to the low pay scales.
2. The requirement for paper team sheets and referees reports to be submitted is simple – they are the only valid evdence of those items and need to be signed by the various parties. Electronic teamsheets and reports have been introduced to make it easier to produce these, but clubs are allowed to make changes online at anytime, and are allowed to alter the teamsheet given to the referee up until it is submitted to the referee. Not submitting the paper items opens up too much room for discussion when a dispute arises.
The phone call to RDO re send-off is so he knows that an incident has occurred and to make sure that a report is received – some people take too long to lodge their reports and the clubs have a right to receive the reports in a timely manner – this procedure allows the RDO to ensure the paper/electronic send off reports are received and to chase them if they are not in on time.
3. There used to be fines for incorrect teamsheets – e.g. each TBA would result in a $5.00 fine. Missing information was certainly less then.
4. Actually it is the referees that treat the abuse like water off a ducks back that exacerbate the problem. This is because a player gets away with it one week then continues the next week with a newer referee and bingo we have lost another one. If ALL ‘abuse’ was dealt with the issue would be less prevalent and we might just keep referees in the game.
FFT seem to be totally against publicising the action taken against the abusers. They have taken action recently - against a coach, against three club officials in the technical area, against a player and against a club. But the normal deterrent factor to others is lost because nobody is aware of the action.

The pay scale you have linked to is for 2008. The 2009 scale is approximately 5% higher.

There would be great benefits if players were to referee games. The club would benefit from having the players about the junior teams, the senior players would gain a knowledge of the laws of the game, and they might also appreciate just how easy it isn’t to get every decision right – and how many different views exist from the sidelines. This used to be the case in the late 70’s, but there wasn’t any requirement for the player to actually know the laws of the game. To be successful they would need to at least attend a session on the laws of the game and current FFA directives. But to be quite frank this is already available to the clubs – as where there is no referee appointed the Home team is responsible for providing the referee. The club could provide the incentives, and reap the benefits.

Perhaps this could be discussed at the upcoming Presidents meetings – North & South?

eightball said...

metro should have brought these players last year. why wait till they go down

The General said...

There's no use blaming FFT or the RDO for a lack of referees in Div 1 and below. They have attracted a lot of new referees over the past years, but you idiots keep abusing them so they think stuff it, i've got better things to do than be critised and ridiculed each weekend, regardless of how much money one can earn. Have a look in the mirror and sream abuse at yourself, then you might realise how 'ugly' you look!...and why you don't 3 referees each week.