Random and unofficial insights and happenings at Football Tournaments nationally from the officials perspective

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Are you Ready? Kanga Cup 2017

Hi everyone,

Figured I'm overdue for my annual pre Kanga Cup teaser, so no time like the present.

Kanga Cup records continue to fall, with again a record number of teams registered (386 teams, 146 minis or small sided teams, 240 junior teams)

Currently 50 referees attending the Academy - not a record in the history of the Interstate Referees group but a marked increase on last 3 years.  44 are from out of town (SA and NT are missing this year, poor showing guys), 6 from Canberra.

First time welcoming referees from Portugal ("Bem vindo a Canberra" Ricardo, attending with our European Coach Alberto), Hong Kong  (Thomas, William and Iiya)
Hong Kong Soccer Sevens - Roger East present EPL Referee

and as usual the New Zealand crew of Alan, Brandon, Cameron, Riley, Salman (Auckland Football Federation - Article in AFF Referee Newsletter ), Jack, Sean (Mainland Canterbury - Profile of Jack), Jared, Robbie (Waibop), "nau mai ki te Canberra" guys.

This is only the 3rd time we've hosted international referees at the Academy, first time being Luke Grinstead (UK in 2010)
Nick (NZ, left), Luke (Centre), 2010
and Oskar Ho (Hong Kong 2015).
Oskar 2015

This group is in support of the 140+ local Capital Football junior referees and game leaders, some attending for the first time along side the long term diehards.

Coaching Team

16 of the finest coaches and assessors from across Australian and New Zealand will be in attendance at all grounds and onsite with the Academy.  Special Welcome to Kate Jacewicz and Sarah Ho, attending for the first time make it a excellent breath of knowledge in the room and around the grounds during Kanga Cup.
Kate 2017 WWL Grand Final
Sarah in 2012

Top Five Kanga Cup Hot Tips

Here's five items to add to your to-do list prior to commencing travel in 9 days time.

# 5. Availability - Ensure your Schedula availability for the weekend prior and following Kanga Cup is showing as Not Available - Appointments officers have a tough enough job without you forgetting to block your time away out of local games.  If you have a different system, today is the time to drop your appointments officer or coach an email telling them your unavailable as many of these games are already in draft form for the dates of the tournament.  And DO NOT even consider taking games on the 8th/9th July - you won't be recovered fully until several days later and again don't want to get on the bad side of your appointments officer after a great week at Kanga Cup with a last minute injury / I'm too tired excuse.

#4. Fitness - don't get injured or sick during the next 10 days - enjoy you warm up and consolidate your fitness program that you've been working on in the lead up - Kanga Cup is a journey, not a sprint and you need to be at your best physically.

#3. Warm Clothing - remember it's cold in Canberra and potentially wet during match days, so bring extra referee shirts / boots, beanie, thermals, refs waterproof jacket (if you have it or try and borrow it this week).

#2. LOTG - Do yourself a favour and re-read the entire book this weekend - treat it as a mid season refresher, as Kanga Cup will test you (not literally), but a strong knowledge of the Laws of the Game will make a difference to your tournament experience.  Whether it's debating points of law during nightly coaching sessions, on the field of play explaining to foreign teams or just to bring your best self as a potential future Elite referee, take on some responsibility for your development and sharpen up on Law before the event.

and the #1.
Journey - I talk a lot about Kanga Cup Referees and the Academy on this blog being more than just another tournament - it's really a journey and for most attending from interstate, just the start of their refereeing adventures outside of local junior league football.  It might be your first time away representing yourself, your branch / zone, your city or country.  Come prepared to work hard / play hard and perhaps cry when it's all over.  You'll make new, strong friendships you didn't expect, connections to elite referees you'd otherwise not meet, insider information on what it takes to be "the best" and experience where refereeing could take you if you have the ambition, motivation, talent and resilience to pursue your dreams.  It's a time and a place along your Journey, perhaps for some a "rite of passage", for others it's just a fun week in Canberra they'll fondly remember years down the road.
But remember, it's not the destination - that's up to YOU.

Capital Football Referees - We're still keen to hear from anyone else who wants to join in this amazing journey, get the chance to referee international teams, feedback and coaching by Interstate / International Coaches (FIFA badges everywhere), meet new youth referees from around the world, make friends and have a great week.

Become a part of the Kanga Cup Referee Alumni like Ben Wilson (FFA Referees Director), Ben Williams (FIFA World Cup Referee), Allyson Flynn (FIFA Womens World Cup Assistant Referee) and many current FFA A-League officials.

Contact Capital Football's refereeing department this week - we'd love to see you at Kanga Cup 2017.

Time to go and re-read Law 12 I think....


Saturday, July 16, 2016

352 days and Counting...

Hi everyone
Well I'm setting new records this year in KCRYA history, finally leaving Canberra this morning in the company of Yr 6 students from my school after a second week at the AIS. I've finally seen most of Canberra's historic locations (laser tag must be in the schedule next year) and skied at Mt Selwyn yesterday on a 20cm base. Exhausted but content I figured some post Kanga observations as we return to our normal, weekend passion.

Whilst I tried hard to get everything up on Flickr last weekend it isn't complete and hopefully will get done this weekend. Paul's early photos and some random ones will be added to the 2900 photos already there, another KCRYA record.

The social side of Kanga is one of its best features I believe, allowing everyone current and Alumni to share the experience, reconnect and reflect on their achievements. I was really please this year with the local sharing of photos within the Academy, even if it took a few days to configure correctly. I always enjoy the technology challenges, even if I've created them myself.

Its those connections you make at any tournament or intensive experiential program that you really take home with you. In a years time you wont remember which games you did, how many sanctions you gave out or where you put your KangaCup scarf. You'll remember the faces, some of the names and how you connected with them.

I really felt it this year with my 10th year being acknowledged by Capital Football. All those faces and memories being shared as I looked back to try and connect the 2016 Coaches with those that have gone before, trying to learn from history and not repeat mistakes. Tradition I guess plays its part, or perhaps its just nostalgia.

Particularly it was full circle with the visit of Kanga Alumni Chris Beath and Jarred Gillett, two of the best in both their refereeing careers and in just who they are as people.

They both attended Kanga as youth referees, most likely before they had been noticed as #futureelite under the guidance of Norm Armstrong from Football Brisbane. Norm was an amazing coach with a real passion for youth development in terms of your refereeing abilities and equally in helping young people grow to become good people. He served 11 years as assessor, coach, bus driver, counsellor, chief librarian, friend and mentor to many #futureelite, referees and coaches equally. I believe he would have been proud to see his Brissie boys returning as Professional Referees and inspiring role models to the current version of the Academy, quietly taking some pride in that connection from 15 years prior. But being Norm, he'd never acknowledge it.

So whilst you return this weekend to your regular local junior or senior leagues, hopefully taking renewed energy and drive to improve, learn, share, excel, doing Portuguese warmups

or even just sharing KangaCup memories with curious , skeptical colleagues, remember your now part of a larger socially conscious and connected family. And your connected to Chris and Jarred, because of Norm

6 Degrees of Separation

So please remember, not everyone will understand your time in the Academy. You just sometimes need to be "in the room" to understand and appreciate what KCRYA means, both in how improved your refereeing skills and knowledge is, but more importantly in how you're a different young person as a result of making these connections.

As a wise Taylor once said

so be prepared to get some pushback.  But with patience and time, your local coaches and sceptical collegues will see the positives.

As time and distance increases from KangaCup 2016, the stories will be retold, embellished a little more each time and perhaps your journey will bring you back someday as a Guest presenter to eager young minds. You just never know....

REMINDER - if you want a voice in improving the Academy and KangaCup experience for #futureelite fill in Alasdair's feedback form sent out this week

Enjoy your weekend refereeing,