International chance for new referee app

CLOSE WATCH: Entrepreneur and state league soccer player Simon Murphy will watch a dream become reality with his new refereeing app to be used in an international game in Ballarat. Picture: Lachlan Bence

CLOSE WATCH: Entrepreneur and state league soccer player Simon Murphy will watch a dream become reality with his new refereeing app to be used in an international game in Ballarat. Picture: Lachlan Bence

AN INTERNATIONAL-accredited referee is prepared to take Simon Murphy’s idea into action for the Australian Matildas’ pre-Olympic clash with New Zealand on Saturday afternoon.

RefLIVE is Mr Murphy’s smartphone app which digitalises soccer’s traditional match-day paperwork. When synchronised with a smartwatch, the app has the potential to change the game for referees who can quickly, and easily, keep better track of their game during play.

Mr Murphy said the hit-out in Ballarat would be the first time this type of technology had been used in an international match anywhere in the world. And it just happened to be in his hometown.

“It’s a crazy coincidence, We had been about to launch the app and about a month ago, knowing the Matildas would be here, fast-tracked the development,” Mr Murphy said. “Even thinking this game would be used a Matildas game was a dream. The way it’s progressed, it will be used first for an international match where I’m from and where I play.”

Mr Murphy plays in the city’s state league men’s team, Ballarat Red Devils. Digitalising match-day paperwork has been playing on his mind for awhile.

More than a stop-watch, the app will allow referees to record, and later download, match details. In-game recording features include: two timers (one to start and stop, the other for time elapsed); goals with options for own goals and penalties; cards with codes relevant to association and reminders for cautions and send-offs; and, substitutes.

The aim is to reduce in-game errors, like missing send-offs or substitutes.

Referees, clubs and supporters can customise teams and match details pre-game on the smartphone app.

RefLIVE went live on the iTunes app store on Wednesday night with downloads across Europe by the next morning. Mr Murphy already is fielding queries for a French version.

But he wants to get the basics right before further exploring market potential.

Development testing with regional and state referees and talks with Football Federation Victoria has delivered good feedback. The big test will be at Ballarat Regional Soccer Facility this weekend.

Mr Murphy has a business background in accounting and is studying entrepreneurship at Swinburne University of Technology. He thought his soccer idea was an innovation worth pursuing and said he formed a good team to develop it.

The Matildas are a strong Olympic medal chance in Rio and have been based in Ballarat this week to fine-tune preparations. Mr Murphy will also be hoping his hard-work will also show in the international clash.