Budding refs' best call
THE Northern Rivers has a reputation as a hot-bed for soccer talent.
At the same time, the area is fast building its status as a producer of top-class officials.
Corey Byrne, 16, of Lismore, and Tiarna Kinnear, 17, of Evans Head, have recently returned from Canberra where they officiated at the under-13 national titles.
The pair were the only referees chosen from the seven zones which make up the Northern NSW Football Federation to oversee the coming together of the best youth soccer talent in the land.
And at the same time, Byrne and Kinnear had access to the expertise of Gary Power who is the national referee’s development manager.
Kinnear performed so well over the tournament that she was appointed as assistant referee of the final and is now considered the number one female referee in the Football Far North Coast zone.
She found Power’s input invaluable especially in regards to positioning herself on the field.
Both aspiring whistle-blowers were given full post-match briefings from Power, a tool which allows them to view their performance and be shown exactly what they should have done and when.
Both Byrne and Kinnear attend Lismore Trinity Catholic College and have been officiating for three years.
Their success continues the impressive history of referees from the region in recent years and confirms that pathways exist on the Northern Rivers for officials as well as players.