“Best behaviour for ‘beautiful game’

Eye on the ball: St Marys player Riley Jamet gets a kick away against Lowland Wanderers on Saturday. Officials have been concerned about behaviour at Nepean football matches this season. Picture: Geoff JonesNEPEAN Football Association has conceded that there’s been too many unsavoury incidents at football matches this season, and has called on clubs to ensure that the environment at matches is better.

Nepean Football manager James Rankine sent a letter to all clubs asking to remember they’re involved in “the beautiful game”.

“We are receiving too many reports of bad behaviour, both on and off the field,” Rankine wrote.

“We have players being injured badly enough to lose jobs.

“We need to take ownership of this problem.”

Despite the problems, St Clair United Soccer Club president Mark Nelson said the situation wasn’t out of control.

“There’s been no more problems this year compared to previous years. There’s been incidences that shouldn’t have happened but it’s just a small minority ruining it for everyone else,” he said.

Nelson also didn’t think the incidents had anything to do with the controversial new referees association, controlled by Nepean.

“The new refs are a breath of fresh air,” he said.

St Marys Soccer Club president Joe Youssef has mixed feelings about the new Nepean Referees Group, which replaced the Nepean District Soccer Referees Association this season after a 50-year relationship with Nepean.

“The coverage is much better, but the standard isn’t,” Youssef said.

“From the feedback I get from my players and managers I’d give the new referees a 4/10 compared to last year’s who got about 7/10.

“One referee red-carded a player who hand-balled when the last line of defence, but wouldn’t send him off.”

But Youssef said it would be wrong to say the new group had failed considering it was just months old.

“I’m still happier this year because we’re getting more coverage, but I’m hoping they improve next year,” he said.

“I’m backing them subject to them improving and I’m confident they can.”

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