Football Australia announces match officials panels for 2023/24 A-Leagues

The Football Australia Referees Committee have finalised the Match Official Panels for the upcoming 2023/24 A-Leagues seasons.

One new face has been promoted to Football Australia’s high-performance Match Official Panel for the 2023/24 season, with Capital Football’s Nathan Shakespear being included on the A-League Men’s fourth official list.

Following the retirement of Chris Beath, experienced official Daniel Elder will step into the position of Professional referee following an extensive recruitment process. Elder has been part of Football Australia’s A-League Men’s referee panel since 2016 and his recent elevation to the FIFA Referee list in 2021 further reinforces his standing as one of the country’s top referees.

In line with the commitment for continuous improvement, an internal review of processes resulted in the restructuring of the Football Australia panels. The new Elite Refereeing lists have been created to emphasise match minutes, consistency of appointment, and the development of match officials across the A-League Women and A-League Men through the alignment of the Football Australia Referee Academy.

Football Australia Head of Referees, Nathan Magill said: “I would like to congratulate all those selected for the 2023/24 Match Official Panels on behalf of the Football Australia Referees Department and Referees Committee.

“It is fantastic to see so many returning faces who are committed to upholding the high standards of officiating football in Australia and across the globe.

“With just one new addition from the 2022/23 seasons, it is exciting to work with a stable group of professionals and improve on what we achieved last year. The next 12 months is shaping to be an exciting time for Australian match officials, and I am looking forward to seeing what our team will achieve on the domestic and global stage,” Magill concluded.

Referee Daniel Elder hands out a yellow card during the round 26 A-League Men's match between Perth Glory and Western United at HBF Park, on April 29, 2023, in Perth, Australia. (Photo by James Worsfold/Getty Images)
Referee Daniel Elder hands out a yellow card during the round 26 A-League Men's match between Perth Glory and Western United at HBF Park, on April 29, 2023, in Perth, Australia. (Photo by James Worsfold/Getty Images)

Australian-based A-Leagues' match officials continue to be acknowledged as some of the best in the world, with many being selected for international honours during the A-Leagues' off-season.

During the historic FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™, Australian referee Casey Reibelt (QLD) was the referee for Spain v Costa Rica and China v England as well as the fourth official for Sweden v USA during the Round of 16.

Kate Jacewicz (VIC) was the referee for France v Brazil and the Round of 16 tie Colombia v Jamaica, alongside Joanna Charaktis (VIC) who served as her assistant referee for both matches.

An impressive 23 officials from the match official panel for the 2023/24 A-Leagues seasons are also a member of the FIFA Panel of International Referees in 2023, further illustrating the prominence of Australian officials.

These include referees Jonathan Barreiro (VIC), Daniel Elder (SA), Shaun Evans (VIC), Alireza Faghani (QLD), Adam Kersey (QLD), Alex King (QLD), Rebecca Durcau (QLD), Kate Jacewicz (VIC), Lara Lee (QLD), Casey Reibelt (QLD); and assistant referees Ashley Beecham (QLD), Ryan Gallagher (NNSW), Owen Goldrick (ACT), Lance Greenshields (NSW), George Lakrindis (VIC), Andrew Lindsay (QLD), Nathan MacDonald (QLD), Kearney Robinson (NSW), Anton Shchetinin (QLD), Joanna Charaktis (VIC), Lauren Hargrave (ACT), Sarah Ho (NSW) and Laura Moya (VIC).

Furthermore, Shaun Evans, Alireza Faghani, Kate Jacewicz, Anton Shchetinin and Ashley Beecham have been included in a total of 35 referees and 39 assistant referees – including two standby nominees for each position – from 18 Member Associations selected for the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023™. These officials have been selected based on their game management skills and competence, technical knowledge, physical fitness as well as performances delivered at the highest levels of both continental and global football in recent years.

Two match officials have also been inducted into the AFC Referee Academy as part of Batch 5 (2023), in Daniel Cook and Georgia Ghirardello, who are currently attending their induction module in Kuala Lumpur. The AFC Referee Academy is a prestigious three-year programme representing a significant step forward in how AFC develops Asia’s future elite match officials.

Since the AFC Referee Academy’s launch in November 2017, four batches of young referees have begun their journey towards the AFC Elite Panel. From those four batches Australia have been well represented through Batch 2017 graduate and now AFC Elite Panel referee Alex King, as well as current students Ben Abraham & Daniel Elder (Batch 2019), and Isabella Blaess & Jack Morgan (Batch 4, 2022). These officials have been part of 157 students from the first four batches of participants, representing 36 member associations from across Asia.

Football Australia would like to recognise and acknowledge the contribution of those match officials who will not be continuing the high-performance panels for next season. 

Chris BeathReferee/VMO234 ALM matches (Referee) and 60 VMO appointments
Kurt AmsReferee/VMO88 ALM matches (Referee) and 99 VMO appointments
Stephen LucasReferee/VMO68 ALM matches (Referee) and 25 VMO appointments
Matthew CreamAssistant Referee208 ALM matches (plus NSL matches 1995-2004)
Paul CetrangoloAssistant Referee173 ALM matches (plus NSL matches 2000-2004)
Scott EdelingAssistant Referee137 ALM matches
Wilson BrownAssistant Referee93 ALM matches
Matthew SouthernAssistant Referee42 ALM matches (plus 1 ALW match as Referee and 17 ALW matches as Assistant Referee)
Jess ByrdAssistant Referee10 ALW matches

The new A-Leagues 2023/24 seasons will kick off on Saturday, 14 October for Liberty A-League Women, with the Isuzu UTE A-League Men commencing the following week on Friday, 20 October.

You can see a full list of the panels HERE.