Ted Kearney

Soccer referee coach (retired)

2024 QLD Senior Australian of the Year Nominee

Ted Kearney has a second nickname: FIFA Factory. The now-retired soccer referee coach is a legend to soccer referees around Australia, having mentored 25 international-level match officials.  

Ted started as an amateur soccer referee in the 1980s. He revolutionised coaching – partly by conducting fitness sessions for referees, which was unheard of at the time. Later, Ted coached for Football Brisbane and Football Queensland. He was invited to international FIFA Futuro seminars and always returned home eager to share the knowledge he’d gained. 

Ted’s coaching style is known for its constructive feedback, positivity and inclusion. He has trained and developed men and women from all levels of ability. He encourages his proteges to think critically, be honest and stay humble.  

Technically retired now, Ted still devotes much of his personal time mentoring and preparing match officials for a tournament. And he still assists with the fitness sessions he began 40 years ago.