A-League adopts VAR bunker system after glitch

GAME ON: Striker Roy O'Donovan will be among a host of senior players who will have their first hit out for the pre-season against the Mid North Coast in Port Macquarie on Tuesday night . Picture: Jonathan Carroll
GAME ON: Striker Roy O'Donovan will be among a host of senior players who will have their first hit out for the pre-season against the Mid North Coast in Port Macquarie on Tuesday night . Picture: Jonathan Carroll

THE Newcastle Jets have welcomed the introduction of an NRL Bunker style system for the Video Assistant Referee in the A-League this season.

Football Federation Australia revealed on Thursday that they will follow the example set by the NRL's bunker and the World Cup in Russia by creating a centralised facility.

In response to the technical glitch that marred last season's grand final, all VAR decisions next season will be made in the same location.

It should mean there is sufficient back-up in the event of another software failure, like the one that occurred just before Melbourne Victory's Kosta Barbarouses scored the only goal of the grand final.

There was a clear offside in the build-up but the VAR was unable to intervene because of the embarrassing malfunction.

“As a club we are a fan of the VAR, even though it costs us in the grand final, and we welcome anything that improves the technology,” Jets assistant coach Clayton Zane said. “A centralised system will improve the consistency of the people who are making the decisions. It shows that the FFA are trying to make the system better.”

Meanwhile, Zane confirmed that senior players Nigel Boogaard, Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Daniel Georgievski, Roy O’Donovan and Wayne Brown will feature in the friendly against the Mid North Coast in Port Macquarie on Tuesday night.

The five senior players were not part of the squad which won the Super Champions Cup in China last week.

They stayed in Newcastle and trained under the eye of assistant youth team coach Labinot Haliti.

“The senior boys are in good shape and will definitely get some minutes in Port,” Zane said. 

“The training facilities up there are very good. It’s a nice place to visit and a chance for us to bond as a squad. We will have a solid hit out on match morning which will make the game a bit more difficult. In terms of the game, the focus will be on ball movement and ball speed, and we will get some kilometres into the legs of the players who need it.”

Bad Call: The white line shows the Melbourne Victory players [in white] were in an offside position during the free kick that led to the Victory's goal. Picture: Fox Sports

Bad Call: The white line shows the Melbourne Victory players [in white] were in an offside position during the free kick that led to the Victory's goal. Picture: Fox Sports

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