Football Federation Australia (FFA) today announced that full time referees Jarred Gillett and Ben Williams will this week depart for a two week professional development trip to Japan, refereeing two J-League matches and one international fixture each.
Gillett and Williams will be joined in Japan by assistant referees David Walsh and George Lakrindis for the international Kirin Cup fixtures featuring Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Denmark and host nation Japan.
The invitation marks the second consecutive year that FFA referees have been appointed to J-League matches. Opportunities for Australian referees and their Japanese counterparts to gain international experience forms part of the MOU between the Hyundai A-League and J-League announced by FFA Chief Executive Officer David Gallop earlier this month.
FFA Director of Referees Ben Wilson echoed Gallop’s sentiments from the announcement and highlighted the importance of the partnership for Australian refereeing.
“We want Australian referees to be world class and this exchange provides another development opportunity for them,” said Wilson.
“The J-League is one of the strongest competitions in Asia. Jarred and Ben will referee a different style of football and work with different referees and referee coaches. This experience will improve their refereeing.
“FFA are providing opportunities to our referees which will in turn benefit the overall quality and entertainment value of the Hyundai A-League.”
While Gillett and Williams control matches in Japan, Japanese FIFA referee Jumpeii Iida and assistant referee Shinji Ochi will travel to Australia ahead of the upcoming Dodoni Series matches between the Caltex Socceroos and Greece. Iida and Ochi have been appointed to officiate along with Barclays Premier League referee Robert Madley and assistant referee Simon Bennett.
FFA also announced that Japanese female FIFA referees Fusako Kajiyama and Yoshimi Yamashita will referee the upcoming Westfield Matildas v New Zealand matches being held in Ballarat and Melbourne.