Play. Inspire. Unite.
A five-year strategic initiative, the Long Term Official Development (LTOD) program is now an integral part of what Ontario Soccer delivers.
LTOD will provide a standards-based education and development program, through strong leadership, inclusivity and support.
As part of that, the In It For The Long Term series puts a focus on the match officials who are dedicated to their role and are taking their development seriously.
This week, In It For The Long Term speaks with Stefan Dusciuc, a Grade 8 District match official.
I started playing organised soccer at 4-years-old and have been playing competitively since seven. The match officials and I never really got along well, and I realized the only way to win was to become one. So, with the help of my father, who was a regional referee at the time, I did my 7v7 soccer license at 12 and started reffing games in the Hearts Azzurri House League.
Being an official in OPDL got me recognized positively by Ontario Soccer, and it acted as a stepping stone in my referee career.
I have been called to provincial and national tournaments ,where I received extensive education and it all started with OPDL.
It also earned me a League1 Ontario match officials spot, where I could learn from the top officials in our province.
I've had good communication with Ontario Soccer, regarding achieving high standards moving forward.
Examples include: being equipped with a heart rate monitor from Ontario Soccer to provide real data regarding fitness and having mentors come out to support me during my games,
They show me where my strengths are and give me feedback on where I can improve, which ultimately makes me a better match official.
I would like to get younger people involved and sort of change the image of a referee as a guy who stands in the middle of the circle and blows a whistle.
I'm working on side projects, along with my studies at University of Toronto, to hopefully modernize the game more.
On a personal note, making the national list wouldn't be bad either.
LTOD is giving me the education and support to become a high level match official.
They create sessions that provoke thought and development which improves my understanding of the game.
They show videos not only of professionals, but of ourselves and our peers where we can analyse our performances.
They test our knowledge and record our progress.
LTOD gives me the opportunity to reach my goals.
If you want to learn more about LTOD and what it could mean for your development as a match official, visit the LTOD section on the Ontario Soccer website.
Grade 8 District Official