Steinhardt looking forward to fourth Grand Final

CAMERON STALLARD

Match Officials are very important members of our great game. Without them, we simply don’t have a game.

As we focus our attention on the Emerald Tigers and Middlemount Panthers as they prepare for the 2016 Grand Final, spare a thought for the men in pink, particularly referee Tim Steinhardt who will be the man in the middle for his third consecutive Grand Final appearance.

Steinhardt, 36, will be in charge of his fourth Central Highlands A-Grade Grand Final when he takes to the field tonight and says he is looking forward to it.

“Steiny”, as he’s most commonly known around the Highlands, first picked up a Rugby League whistle in 2008 after a back injury halted his Rugby League and Rugby Union playing days.

“After hurting my back in the local Rugby Union Grand Final which we won, I was asked by former CH President Pat Booker to ref the next season, so I headed into Rockhampton for a ref’s course. This is when I first met NRL Referee Development Officer Steve Hamilton,” Steinhardt reminisces.

Steinhardt was no stranger to blowing the whistle when first starting to officiate Rugby League as years of refereeing Touch Football came in handy.

I had been reffing Touch Football since I was 12 and enjoyed that which made it an easy transition to Rugby League.”

“I still ref Touch and am now a Level 4 referee. I am going for my Level 5 in March next year at the National Touch Football Championships.”

Earlier this year, Steinhardt also completed an NRL Level 1 CMO (Coach of Match Officials) course, to assist in the coaching and development of future match officials in the Highlands.

Looking ahead to tonight’s Final, Steinhardt says his preparation has been like any other game.

“I prepare for the final like a normal game, playing and reffing touch footy on Monday and Wednesday nights along with some light gym work throughout the week.”

 “I am hoping that I can let the Tigers and Panthers show who is the best team on the night with me having a minimal impact on the game.”

Steinhardt says he is looking forward to the game, particularly when the teams take to the field.

“I love the roaring noise of the crowd when the teams take to the field.”

“It can make your hairs stand on the back of your neck, and at the moment, you know it’s the real deal.”

Steinhardt will be assisted on the touchline by up-and-coming referees Luke Ellery and David Thornberry.

In the Ladies match prior to the Men’s, experienced Central Highlands referee Paul Ryan will officiate his second consecutive Ladies Grand Final. Joining him will be Jacob Firth and Jordan Rodrigues on the touch line.




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