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Roache continues rapid rise through the ranks

Victorian referees are continuing to kick goals right across the country, with William Roache selected as one of the officials for the upcoming CAS RISE U18’s representative match, which is to be played as the curtain raiser game for State of Origin I in Adelaide tomorrow.

Having taken up refereeing at the age of 13, Roache’s rise through the ranks has been a rapid one, with the Ashwood High School student quickly progressing through to the seniors division of the Storm Premiership.

While having previously represented Victoria at the U12 Nationals back in 2019, Wednesday’s assignment is no doubt one of the biggest achievements in the young referees career so far.

With the chance to officiate the CAS RISE U18’s ahead of a State of Origin game, the upcoming opportunity is something Roache said he won’t be taking for granted.

“I got a call from Tony Archer when I was at school and he broke the news, it was a big surprise as I didn’t see it coming so was definitely a big shock,” he said.

“It’s a good opportunity to learn a few things, I’ll have a great team looking over me, giving me some tips and with it being on such a big stage, it’ll be a great experience,” he said.

“It definitely makes me very proud and happy to be able to referee a match for a State of Origin curtain raiser,” he said.

Roache hopes games like the CAS U18’s will help him progress in his development as a referee as he looks to progress further in his career.

“The Victorian referees have done some great work over the past few years to be able to give us these opportunities,” Roache said.

“It’s really cool to see as while we have obviously had a few seasons off, since I started in 2018 I’ve been able to progress really quickly,” he said.

“I managed to go away in 2019 to do the Mixed U12 Nationals and from there I have been able to just keep progressing,” he said.

Having recently made the step up to refereeing the senior divisions of the Storm Premiership, Roache said the chance to be given new experiences in the older age groups is one he has relished.

“I’ve been able to do the Third and Second Grade the past two weeks so stepping up to do the seniors has been a big jump but it’s where I want to go with my refereeing, it’s where I see myself in the future so I’ve really been enjoying those opportunities,” he said.

Roache said that making the move to refereeing has been extremely beneficial given its social and physical benefits as well as staying connected with the game.

“I started in 2018 when I was 13 which was the minimum age…after I had my first couple of games I was hooked and I have loved it since,” he said.

“You get the best seat in the house, you stay fit and you meet great people but I also just love being able to stay involved in the game,” he said.

Roache will be in action tomorrow night when the 34-player CAS squad is split into two teams in order for selectors to settle on the final 20-player squad to take part in the U18’s ASSRL Championships in Redcliffe on 30 June – 7 July, 2023.

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