A few weeks ago, NSWFRA President Adrian Tamplin, Vice-President Nick Backo and Registrar Jonathon Moore officiated at the Oceania Football Confederation Futsal Cup in Fiji. Nick has provided some wonderful insights into his trip - sit down, grab a coffee and enjoy the read!

I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to referee at my first international tournament. The tournament was the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) Futsal Cup held in Suva, Fiji. Jonathon Moore and myself were invited from Australia along with Adrian Tamplin who was appointed as an instructor.

The tournament was held between September 13 to September 18 2022 at the Vodafone Arena. 17 referees and four instructors from across OFC were appointed. Matches occurred across two pools of four teams with a final series. The teams included OFC powerhouse countries Solomon Islands and New Zealand along with Tonga, Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa and New Caledonia.

We arrived having completed our fitness test in Australia and participated in a light training session and sessions on the laws of the game. These were focussed on preparing for the days ahead and getting to know each other. Throughout the tournament we had access to a physiotherapist and received feedback via debriefs with video analysis. All of the matches were livestreamed with commentary which helped to learn from our matches and discuss any incidents as a group and with the instructors.


Four matches were held a day with five match officials appointed to each match (referee, second referee, third referee, timekeeper and reserve assistant referee). I was appointed to two matches as referee/second referee during the tournament with my first A international match being Samoa v Solomon Islands and I was also appointed to the plate semi-final match between Vanuatu v Samoa.

The experience of walking out into the arena for my first international match as a referee was a special moment that I will cherish for the rest of my career.

The tournament ended on a special note with my appointment as third referee on the final. It was made even more memorable as Jon was the referee appointed. It was an exciting match between Solomon Islands and New Zealand that kept us busy and was played in front of a big crowd.

As Ryan mentioned when reflecting about his recent trip, being able to share the experience with both Adrian and Jon, along with my good friends Chris and Antony from New Zealand made the week incredibly rewarding and enjoyable. The shared experience with fellow members of the futsal family was one of the many highlights.

I learnt a lot from the experience, especially about how different international matches are and the variation in tools and skills that are required to perform at that level. A valued colleague before the tournament reminded me to prepare well and know the teams but to not pre-judge the match - instead - take the time to settle into the match and referee it based on whatever is needed to facilitate an exciting, fair contest. This was useful advice that helped me with all of my matches. It is critical to being a good referee to be able to adapt your style to whatever the match requires of you.

I look forward to sharing more about my experience as I referee with you throughout this season.

Thank you to NSW Futsal Referees Association, Football Australia and OFC for the experience and importantly a big thank you to Adrian for his efforts before and during the tournament, his support and the opportunity to attend.