Referee Development Panel launched ahead of 2023 season

Young referees will benefit from the establishment of the Northern NSW Football Referee Development Panel in 2023.

The RDP will strengthen the match official development pathway and provide tangible opportunities for high performing Level Three referees to grow and advance.

Northern NSW Football Referee Manager Brad Carlin said the RDP was a win-win for football.

“Building the capacity of young referees leads to better officiating and in turn a better football experience for all participants,” Carlin said.

“This is an important step to identifying talented young referees and supporting them in becoming the quality referees we need for the future of our game.” 

Coaching and development a focus

The inaugural RDP group can expect to benefit from coaching and insights from their match official peers and experienced referee instructors.

NNSWF Referee Education & Development Coordinator Riley Kirkaldy, who officiates in the National Premier Leagues Northern NSW, is one such referee looking forward to imparting his expertise onto the next generation through the RDP. 

“I’m thrilled with the program and the opportunity to be able to give back to young referees. I’ve benefited from NNSWF’s referee programs and was able to referee at this year’s National Youth Championships in Coffs Harbour,” Kirkaldy said.

“It's all about coming together as a team, developing identified talent and raising the refereeing standards in our area. I’m all for it.”

Nominations now open

To be part of the RDP referees must be nominated by their zone or branch, or if nominating themselves, must have their nomination endorsed by their zone or branch.

Nominations are now open. Nominees should be between 16 and 18-years-old, with a minimum of Level 3 (theory) accreditation, although younger and Level 4 referees who have been identified as having exceptional talent and potential are also welcome to apply. 


Referee Development Panel Details   

  • Ideally aged 16 to 18  
  • Ideally with a minimum of Level 3 accreditation (theory)  
  • Have skills to be selected to referee at National Youth Championships within a maximum of the next three years  
  • Will receive regular coaching to aid their progression  
  • Nominations must be endorsed by the referee’s zone or branch before they can be considered  
  • Nominations for the RDP are now open and will close on 28 February 2023.   


If you have questions about the Referee Development Panel, contact Brad Carlin on (02) 4941 7200 or