Football SA launches Referee Academy

Football SA is pleased to announce the formation of the Football SA Referee Academy, as well as the 19 members selected for 2020. The Academy is split into two groups, with ages ranging from 15 to 23: a development squad, and a senior squad.

The Referee Academy has been created by Football SA to provide promising and dedicated young match officials with the opportunity to receive specialised training and coaching. The new program will enable the next generation to learn and develop as part of a supportive network while gaining valuable advice from experienced coaches. 

The Academy will be headed up in 2020 by Lead Instructor, Daniel Elder. He has been a registered match official with Football SA for 13 years and is currently in his fourth season as a Referee on the A-League. 

Academy sessions will be run by Elder as well as guest presenters, including AFC Assistant Referee of the Year Matthew Cream, W-League Referee Isabella Blaess, and SA NPL Referee of the Year Daniel Cook. The Academy will also have a Senior Coach from the NPL SA competition present to match officials in the program, to provide a diverse range of viewpoints from across the football community.

The Academy met for their first session last week,  which was held via Zoom due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Development Squad member Thomas Brinkworth was excited about the program, saying:

It’s a fantastic opportunity to learn from not only some of the best match officials in the state but also some of the best in the nation. The knowledge and experience they will be able to pass on will prove invaluable in my refereeing future.”

Lead instructor Daniel Elder added:

The 19 members of the Referee Academy are an extremely promising group who should be proud of their selection.

I'm looking forward to working with them and guiding them on their journey to becoming high-quality match officials. Throughout my career, I have been fortunate enough to experience the great coaching Football SA has to offer young match officials, and I hope to continue that throughout this course.”

Football SA State Referee Committee Chair Rick Schneider lauded the development of the Academy, saying: 

The program to be led by Daniel & his team of presenters will be a fantastic step in providing quality development for younger referees so that they can grow into excellent match officials - for competitions in South Australia, and also on the national stage in the A-League, W-League and Y-League.”

Football SA wishes all Academy members a successful 2020 season.


Lead Instructor: Daniel Elder 

Senior Squad (10)

• Andrew Citti 

• Ian Crossing

• Cole Davy

• Alex Diamond

• Angus Jackson

• Angus MacDonald

• Jackie Megson 

• Denis Palushaj 

• Joe-Jordan Tripodi 

• Dion Turner 

Development Squad (9) 

• Jayden Betterman 

• Thomas Brinkworth 

• Finley Drewniak Sandery 

• Argyle Groff 

• William Heinrich 

• Harold Spanner 

• Thomas Temby 

• Liam Toovey 

• Ashley Udycz