Northern NSW Football held its 2019 Annual General Meeting on Sunday.
The AGM was held digitally for the first time through a Zoom video conference, with the directors’ and auditor’s reports (Annual Finance Accounts) received and considered.
The highlight of the meeting was the unanimous acceptance of Neil Jones’ nomination for life membership of NNSWF.
Jones, who was nominated by the NNSWF Match Official Standing Committee, has contributed to refereeing in the Northern NSW region for more than 40 years.
He first became a member of Newcastle Referees in 1974 and then joined the NNSW State League Football Referees Committee in 1978. He became a class two referee in 1978 and a class one referee in 1981.
During his career as a match official Jones officiated at four national tournaments and was appointed to the National Soccer League (NSL) linesman panel from 1982 to 1986 and again in 1988. Jones was appointed to the NSL reserve official panel in 1987.
Neil’s refereeing career also included international appointments, having refereed at the 1985 and 1986 Ipswich Cup competition in England and the 1986 Ayr Boswell Boys Club Tournament, where he refereed the under-14 years final between Glasgow Rangers and Hibernian.
“By far, his greatest contribution to officiating has been his role within the [NNSW State League Football Referees] association and his appointments to committees within Northern NSW Football,” Carlin said.
“Within our association, Neil has held the roles of branch trainer, junior vice-president, senior vice-president and has been the president since 2000.
“Neil was awarded life membership of our association in 1997 and also holds life membership with Newcastle Football Referees, recognising his enormous contribution to match official administration.
“He has been a driving force behind the professionalising of match official administration and coaching, has been progressive whilst providing stability and has at all times conducted himself with the utmost courtesy and professionalism as an advocate for referees and refereeing.”
In 2013, Jones was a part of the NNSWF Match Official Review Steering Committee and was instrumental in ensuring a smooth transition of roles as NNSWF took on the administrative functions for match officials of Premier Competitions.
Following the transition, Jones was appointed as chair to the Match Official Standing Committee. He has held the role since the committee’s inception, acting in the best interests of match officials and football in the region.
Jones has also overseen the implementation of a number of initiatives to improve referee development and increase the number of referees who officiate on NNSWF competitions.
Jones joins other refereeing luminaries Rob Davies, the late Harold Hall, the late Bill Turner and the late Arthur Roberts in receiving life membership of NNSWF.
Click here to see the 2019 Northern NSW Football Annual Report.