Female referees and their inspiring stories

Talk to female referees and you’ll find all sorts of inspiring stories.

“I enjoy every game I’m involved in, whether it’s a W-League game or local state competition, that game on the day could be the most important game to those 22 players on the field, you can take something out of every game,” says Danielle, a community level and Westfield W-League ref.

“Naturally I’m an introvert, communicating amongst large groups of people was not a strength of mine prior to referring.

“Refereeing has enabled me to test that belief and I’ve the skills now to communicate with a range of different people, and can implement methods to communicate more effectively with different personalities.

“Refereeing has also helped me develop a better understanding of the game, not just the laws of the game, but also different tactics team employ and a stronger ability to anticipate play.

“I love our game, so for me I enjoy being able to give back through refereeing. We have the ability to positively influence players, coaches and the games themselves to protect player safety and enable an entertaining, flowing and enjoyable game for everyone involved and I think that’s a great thing to be a part of.”

Allyson Flynn, a FIFA Official, has her own story that began in Albury. “I was 18 and had moved to Albury to attend university; I decided I wanted to referee as well as play.

“My physical, mental and technical preparation is vital in managing the pressure of officiating. I’ve developed a pre match routine which I use on every match from community football to international matches to ensure I am focussed and ready.

Alison Flynn.

“Officiating the opening match at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany 2011 with my parents in the crowd and officiating the semi –final between Japan and England at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup was certainly a career highlight.

“I always remember one bad decision doesn’t make me a bad official, it shows I am human.”

“I started refereeing two years ago when I was 15,” says Paula Orlandi.

“I was playing for Playford Patriots we were told that FFSA were giving out scholarships for girls who wanted to referee; I discussed the opportunity with dad.

“His advice was I’d have nothing to lose, only gain from the experience, so I went and took the opportunity. I love the travelling aspect of refereeing and being able to meet a large community of people I wouldn’t ordinarily meet.

“Gaining experience through refereeing with more senior referees or being mentored by them is motivating. Through officiating games I’ve gained confidence, an improvement that I and others have seen in myself.

“Officiating has also taught me a lot about being organised, working as a team, respect and one’s reputation/presentation. As a referee I have to present myself in a way in which I will be respected by the players and coach, both on and off the pitch.

Laura Moya’s story is based on her love of football.

“I’ve always played football but only considered refereeing when I was 15 years old. My dad suggested it around the time when I wanted to begin working.

“I love being involved with football, so I love watching good players and being a part of their game. Being fit and making friends is also a positive. I would love the opportunity to be officiating at the international level one day. I am more confident talking and liaising with people, and I can manage and cooperate with people in a professional context.

“My verbal and nonverbal communication from refereeing has also helped me in my teaching profession.”