Playing, coaching and refereeing are some of the hats Mossy Point’s Darryl Walsh has worn since taking the pitch for Moruya’s all age men’s team in 1987.
PLAYING, coaching and refereeing are some of the hats Mossy Point’s Darryl Walsh has worn since taking the pitch for Moruya’s all age men’s team in 1987.
His commitment to the code earned him recognition when he received a state award by Football NSW at a state dinner in early November.
Walsh was caught off-guard when he was selected by the Eurobodalla Football Association.
“I was surprised and humbled as you don’t think you’re worthy until you look back,” Walsh said.
As a 19-year-old he emigrated from England to Wollongong in 1981 before his career in the NSW Police Force transferred him to Moruya in 1986.
Since then, apart from a five-year move to Broken Hill, Walsh has played with or coached a Eurobodalla club or representative team.
“I started coaching in 1988 and stopped four years ago,” he said.
“I was still coaching and refereeing, trying to fit it all in and I stopped when my daughter moved to all age.”
In 2000 Walsh opted to become a referee and progressed to level two by 2004 and he became one of two in the shire.
Also at the time, the Eurobodalla Referees Association and the Eurobodalla Soccer Association (now Eurobodalla Football Association) had a fractured relationship.
Walsh stepped in to an administration role and became a vital voice which helped heal the rift.
“I think the people who nominated me, nominated me for helping to rebuild that relationship,” he said.
“It was pretty sour and now we have a fantastic relationship built on mutual respect and doing what’s right for the game.”
While not playing competitively, Walsh still steps out for six-a-side at Moruya on Wednesday evenings and he also looks forward to over 35s and 45s tournaments.
“My favourite hat is playing football still but other than that I enjoy being a referee,” he said.
“Generally it’s a pleasure to referee here and the players and crowds are quite respectful.”
Walsh said he would continue to train junior and senior referees, which he has been doing since he began the referees’ training course in 2006. He hoped fellow Eurobodalla stalwarts would receive their overdue praise.
“There’s people here (Eurobodalla) who have been involved in football administration longer than me and they’re deserving of recognition,” he said.
“You do it all to put back into the game and help your kids through.”