Coffs Coast Football Clubs Embrace Referee Recognition Week

Lee Jenkins and Phil Payne.


FOOTBALL clubs on the Coffs Coast have embraced Referee Recognition Week at a time when referees are in short supply.

One of North Coast’s newest referees Lee Jenkins got involved in becoming a match official through her workplace and has been learning from referee legend Phil Payne.

“I got involved through my workplace as I coach the Primary Girls soccer team, they thought I’d be interested in completing the referee course.

“I actually didn’t think I’d enjoy it as much as I have, every age group offers something different.

“I love the banter that goes on in the older age groups and I really enjoy being a part of the younger age groups learning of the game.

“At the end of the day though, I just love to see everyone having fun with their buddies whether they be on their team, the opposing team or as an official,” said Lee.

Referee Coordinator for North Coast Football, David Horseman, explained the challenges and rewards of being a referee.

“Refereeing is no easy job, the laws of the game keep changing each year and referees are expected to be on top of their game at all times.

“Phil Payne would have seen lots of changes to the laws and the game itself in his countless years as a referee, instructor and assessor.

“Referees also have to deal with dissent from players, who know the laws better than the referees of course and sometimes abuse from the football loving spectators with a different perspective yet again.

“This is why it is sometimes difficult to attract and retain referees, I implore clubs and players to show more respect for referees even when they might get a call wrong, they are doing their best to make a split second decision.

“Not all players and spectators are like this and those that support the officials are most appreciated,” said David.

David played for Sawtell FC before taking on the role of referee coordinator as he explained the pathway to becoming a paid referee.

“Lee Jenkins is new to our ranks this year and is really enjoying the challenges.

“We certainly encourage more female referees to come and give it a try, you will start out by completing some online training, before attending a face to face course where you also complete a workbook.

“Once you have passed, you will be appointed as an assistant referee on junior games and some senior games until you have enough confidence and are able to move to junior centres and progress from there.

“It really is an enjoyable pastime and for someone like myself who has been playing for over 40 years, it is a great way to give back to the football community.

“If you are over 13 years of age and interested please email [email protected],” said David.



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