Ben Wilson appointed as FFA Director of Referees Print E-mail
Written by FFA   
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 11:25

Football Federation Australia have announced Ben Wilson as the new FFA Director of Referees replacing the outgoing Mark Shield.

Wilson has a long and successful history as one of Australia’s top match officials. He began officiating at the age of 15 and his first professional match came as an NSL Assistant Referee in 1996.

A FIFA Assistant Referee from 2000 to 2011, Wilson officiated in almost 200 NSL and Hyundai A-league matches, including five Hyundai A-League Grand Finals as well as six FIFA tournaments. The highlights included the 2006 FIFA World Cup, 2011 Asian Cup and 2009 AFC Champions League Final.

Already a member of the National Referees Technical Committee, Wilson’s appointment as FFA Director of Referees will see him take over the running of the FFA Referees Department.

The role includes managing referee appointments for all Hyundai A-League, Westfield W-League and National Youth League matches and continuing the rollout of the FFA Refereeing Strategic Plan.

“Having only recently retired from active elite refereeing duties I have a strong understanding of what is required for Australia’s elite and future elite referees to succeed both domestically and on an international stage,” Wilson said.

“As a member of the National Referee’s Technical Committee, I assisted in the development of the current refereeing program that FFA has in place which will not only provide continuity for the referees, but a solid platform for further development.

“Australian referees are very well regarded internationally. Our refereeing strategic plan provides a strong foundation for the development of referees and the creation of the National Talent Pool provides a clear path for referees to progress from the State Leagues into the Hyundai A-League.”

FFA CEO Ben Buckley has also welcomed Ben Wilson’s appointment and hailed the work of Mark Shield over the past year.

“I am very pleased to announce Ben Wilson as FFA’s new Director of Referees and applaud the effort and professionalism Mark Shield brought to the role,” Buckley said.

“Ben was a great professional and highly credentialed as an active referee and he will bring this professionalism and experience with him to his new role to continue laying the groundwork for the continued development of our referees elite development.

”I thank Mark for making this a smooth transition.”

Head of Hyundai A-League Damien de Bohun said the continued development of referees is essential to the growth of the league.

“The continued development of referees in Australia is a priority to ensure our competitions can reach the highest level possible,” de Bohun said.

“Ben’s career as a professional referee speaks for itself and his knowledge and understanding of refereeing both domestically and internationally will be a great asset to FFA.”

Mark Shield vacated the position last month after introducing the three year Refereeing Strategic Plan, a National Referees Technical Committee as well as the Possibles and Probables Candidates program.

Shield will remain on the National Referees Technical Committee helping guide the direction and development of referees in Australia.

“I remain committed to the National Referees Technical Committee to ensure we continue the great progress we have made over the past 14 months,” Shield said.

“The education and development of referees in Australia is something that I’m still very passionate about and I will continue to pay very close attention to both the improved standard of refereeing in Australia and the continued growth of the Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League.”