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Blake Ferguson completes referees course

Date

Ben Horne

Whistle-blower ... Blake Ferguson has completed a referees course.

Whistle-blower ... Blake Ferguson has completed a referees course. Photo: Brendan Esposito

Troubled rugby league star Blake Ferguson has taken a further step towards proving he's a fit person to return to the NRL, after completing his referees course.

Ferguson is currently working with the Sydney Roosters in an off-field role, however an application to have him registered to return to playing this year was rejected by the NRL.

The 24-year-old was found guilty of indecent assault after groping a woman in a late-night incident last year, however the NRL have indicated that they may lift his deregistration for next season if he demonstrates he's taken measures to improve his life off the field.

Former NRL referee Greg McCallum, who is working with the NSW Referees Association as a director of refereeing development, says Ferguson was "excellent" in the way he approached the course.

Ferguson would need to be cleared by the NRL to work with children if he was to actually take up the whistle, but McCallum said by completing the course, Ferguson had displayed a genuine interest in getting back involved in the game.

"It's excellent. He performed really well and showed a real interest in it," McCallum told AAP.

"I think he needs to show the game that he's serious about being involved in it. That's the key and refereeing isn't the most glamorous of things to be involved in but it's a very crucial part of the game. I think it's a very positive thing that he would do that.

"He's got a lot of ground to make up and this is a positive step forward - and he's been doing a lot of work with the Roosters as well."

McCallum said Ferguson had "significant issues" to overcome in terms of compliance, however if he was cleared by the NRL he would be eligible to referee mini and mod league as well as juniors 13 years and over.

If cleared, Ferguson would most likely referee in the Cronulla area, however, he is also recovering from a broken leg.

McCallum said John Hopoate undertook a similar course several years ago when he was involved in an incident at a junior rugby league match - and the former match review committee chairman said more players should get involved with refereeing.

Provided the NRL gave him the green light, McCallum says sacked Sharks five-eighth Todd Carney would also be welcomed into the refereeing ranks.

"If they were to clear Blake or Todd or anyone else to be involved in the game at that level, the NSW Referees association wouldn't stand in the way of anyone being involved," he said.

Ferguson was not convicted over the incident, however his guilt was upheld at his appeals hearing, and he's been ordered to stay away from pubs, clubs, bottleshops and undertake counselling for alcohol abuse.

AAP 

12 comments

  • Is there any reason why all registered players shouldn't get their ref's ticket?

    Perhaps it would increase the respect that players have for referees, and also make players more visible in the community. What junior player wouldn't be thrilled to have their favourite player referee their game? If a player committed to refereeing on a regular basis the NRL could provide incentives such as pay increases and/or salary cap concessions.

    Commenter
    Pete75
    Location
    Perff
    Date and time
    July 08, 2014, 12:44PM
    • Total window dressing, The Roosters are trying to paint over Ferguson's indiscretions, give him a Florence Nightingale image which is unwarranted and get him back on the paddock as fast as they can for their own benefit no matter what damage he will do to the game in the future. Ferguson and any others of similar ilk like Carney must be expunged from the game if it is to have a future. Shame Roosters, shame.

      Commenter
      RTP
      Location
      Sawtell
      Date and time
      July 08, 2014, 12:46PM
      • Absolutely spot on RTP, its all a cover, the problem is that the Roosters expect people to believe it!! The game is bleeding to death on the back of bad behavior on and off the field.

        Commenter
        Ian
        Date and time
        July 08, 2014, 1:37PM
      • That's a great point. What they should do is come out and say "We want to sign this player no matter what, and we're not going to even bother trying to do anything that could a) enhance him, or b) enhance his image. We're happy for our sponsors and fans to think that we, basically, don't care if he goes out and shoots meth into his eyeballs and punches women in the face. Same as how we retained Todd Carney and Nate Myles a few years ago, that's why they're still playing for us..... oh wait"

        That's what they should do.

        Commenter
        Phat
        Date and time
        July 08, 2014, 3:52PM
    • Ferguson wasn't banned because he didn't know the rule. Not sure what the relevance is.

      Commenter
      Chris
      Location
      Sydnet
      Date and time
      July 08, 2014, 2:10PM
      • I am sure your team wouldn't do exactly the same either RTP.

        Commenter
        Mark
        Location
        Sydney
        Date and time
        July 08, 2014, 2:50PM
        • No Rooster Mark they would not and have a record of not doing things like this.

          Commenter
          RTP
          Location
          Sawtell
          Date and time
          July 08, 2014, 6:53PM
      • The NRL has shown it will turn a blind eye to all bad plublicity eventually and let anyone play.... the game has no morals left, no respect for fans... so we have lost respect in the game....

        Commenter
        Shogunmatty
        Location
        Reality
        Date and time
        July 08, 2014, 3:13PM
        • @RTP Could not have said it better myself mate. Bravo!!

          Commenter
          Retired
          Date and time
          July 08, 2014, 5:18PM
          • Oh, please.......

            Commenter
            Lowey
            Location
            Grenfell
            Date and time
            July 08, 2014, 7:50PM

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