Orange refs are on the level

ORANGE now has three more state graded touch football referees.

Alex Faulkner, Tim Ah-See and Karl Youse all impressed enough to be awarded their level four badges after last weekend’s NSW State Cup.

The upgrade allows the trio to referee at a state level and Faulkner said it was just reward for a lot of hard work, particularly for Ah-See.

“I’ve been working toward level four for about 12 months,” Faulkner explained.

“It’s a pretty prestigious upgrade, you get the blue jacket and plenty of exposure. We’re pretty proud of the achievement.”

“I’ve been at level three for about three years now,” Ah-See added.

“I’m stoked.”

Faulkner, Bathurst’s director of refereeing and a member of the Talented Referees Youth Squad (TRYS), said the badge wasn’t the only positive to come from the State Cup.

“It was the highest standard of touch I’ve reffed,” he said.

“We’ll all be much better for the experience.”

Billy Greatbatch, widely regarded as one of, if not Orange’s best referee, said the trio’s upgrade was well deserved.

“Alex is a member of TRYS and Tim and Karl have been refereeing Vawdon Cup, which is essentially a Sydney championship, for the last couple of months,” Greatbatch said.

“We were driving to Sydney on a Friday, then back that night for 14 weeks. They’re dedicated.

“That definitely helped all of them. They’ve done well, and hopefully they’ll all get invitations to nationals in March.”

Greatbatch singled out Faulkner in particular, and said the 19-year-old had improved out of sight in the past year.

“It’s huge to see where he’s come from, to where he is now,” he said.

“He was refereeing some pretty ordinary touch, now he’s a level four ref.”

The 2014 Junior State Cup, in Port Macquarie next February, is next on the agenda for the trio.

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