Refereeing a career opportunity: Pelosi
Manawatu's Rod Pelosi, who is the New Zealand Football chairman of the referees committee and appointments panel, is hoping for a greater number of officials within the Central region this winter.
Pelosi made the call before he left for a six-week trip overseas to take part in a national refereeing development tour, which includes stops in Europe and the United States.
Refereeing stocks in Manawatu in particular were in decline last season, but Pelosi said that could change.
"It was struggling last year," he admitted.
"There seems to be an uplift now.
"The local appointments chairman has gone around to see some of the people who gave it away for various reasons to get them back. Three or four that I know are coming back."
Pelosi is also the chairman of the referees committee for Central Football and is also on the board of that association.
As part of his overseas trip he will spend time at the Uefa headquarters near Geneva, in Switzerland, to look at their referee development, a visit he arranged through a friend of a friend.
"It's pretty exciting in regards to development of New Zealand referees."
Once Pelosi has been to Switzerland he will head to England, where three Kiwi officials, Campbell-Kirk Waugh, Chris Kerr (both Taranaki) and Nick Waldron (Auckland) will be given advice from Professional Game Match Officials Ltd.
The trio will also be given the opportunity to officiate a Premier League reserve grade match.
Following his time in England, Pelosi will visit relatives in Edinburgh, before returning to London then heading to the United States.
Two Kiwi referees are involved in the Dallas Cup, which is a huge youth tournament attended by many of the world's top clubs like English side Liver-pool and Spain's Real Madrid.
Anne-Marie Keighley and Mike Hester, who officiated at last year's World Cup, are the pair heading to Dallas and Pelosi will be on hand to watch their progress.
He said there had been a noted injection into the budget for referee development following the All Whites' qualification for last year's World Cup in South Africa.
Pelosi said there was a career opportunity for people to be involved with officiating if they wanted to stay in the game, but didn't see themselves making it as a player.
"We've got to encourage young people who don't think there's a pathway, but there's a pathway in refereeing."
Manawatu's Matt Conger was one of two Kiwi officials, alongside Peter O'Leary, selected to referee at the Oceania section of the under-20 World Cup qualifiers.
The qualifiers will be held in Auckland from April 20 to 29.
American Samoa, Fiji, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tahiti, Tuvalu and Vanuatu will compete in the competition and the winner will qualify for next year's under-20 World Cup to be held in Colombia.