SATISFYING WORK: International touch referee Brad Smith enjoys officiating at all levels.
SATISFYING WORK: International touch referee Brad Smith enjoys officiating at all levels. Rob Williams

Whistleblower gets to top tournaments

The 2012 Queensland Times-City of Ipswich Sports Awards will recognise the best regional talent at a gala function on Saturday night. In the latest series on the award contenders, Jay Buchan previews the finalists for the Official of the Year honour.

 

HE MIGHT be in the running for the Official of the Year award.

But for Brassall resident Brad Smith refereeing is no different to any other sport.

Smith is ranked 11th in the world as a touch footy referee and fourth in Australia.

The law agent has been refereeing touch football for 19 years after first putting his hand up to help out the Ipswich Touch Football Association.

"I loved it," the 39-year-old said.

"I was hooked straight away."

For Smith, it was no different to falling in love with any sport.

"In a team sport it's an individual sport in itself," he said.

"As a player you try to get the best results and it's the same thing to ref.

"You've got to apply yourself to get the best results."

Asked to relive the highlights he has experienced Smith says there are too many to list.

"From Trans Tasman Test matches and State of Origin to World Cups," he said.

"They're all adding up.

"Of late it's been great to travel with the Australian team to a World Cup in Scotland (last year) and to go to Africa," he said.

"I love the sport.

"You make lots of good mates.

"That's why I want to stay in it.

"There are far more highs than lows. Those that do get into it are there for the long haul."

Smith is also a touch referee coach, helping mould the next generation.

But he maintains the most important feedback doesn't come from any coach.

"I've got my own bosses that look at my games," he said.

"I'm not concerned about their comments.

"Whether it is at local level or a Trans Tasman Test I've got the same goal.

"At the end of the game I want to hear 14 players thank me and congratulate me for my efforts."



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