Young Northern Referee Shines On National Stage

February 8th, 2017

Northern NSW Football State League referee, Stephen Laurie, 25, has achieved one of his objectives as a match official by refereeing the 2016/17 Foxtel National Youth League Grand Final between Sydney FC and Melbourne City FC at Central Coast Stadium on Saturday, January 28.

This is the first appointment, as a referee, by one of our Northern NSW match officials on a National Grand Final level for nearly a quarter of a century.

Refereeing in a very competitive match in stifling heat, Stephen controlled the match exceptionally well and had two major decisions to make late in the match, awarding two penalty kicks; replays showed that he was correct on both occasions.

Stephen was excited when he got the call up for the appointment.

“It is probably the biggest game I have ever been appointed to,” Stephen said.

“I was relieved because it was a goal I set myself that I worked hard to achieve.”

Stephen recently was also our representative at the FFA Boys NTC Tournament in Canberra, officiating with other leading young referees from around the country. At the end of the tournament, Stephen was ranked by the FFA Referees Coaching team present as not only the number one assistant referee in terms of his performances, but also the number one referee.

Along with his successful officiating last season after his elevation to Northern NSW Football’s panel of referees for the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues Senior Competition, and his performance as the referee on last season’s NEWFM First Division first grade Grand Final, Stephen has enjoyed a phenomenal last 12 months as a match official.

After starting refereeing at the age of 19, on the recommendation from his dad to earn some money and to stay fit, Stephen grew to favour refereeing over playing as he believed it gave him ‘a chance to go somewhere’ with his footballing career.

“I gave up playing after three years (22 years old) in the local State League which was a really hard decision. I felt that I had a chance to go somewhere with refereeing,” Stephen said.

“I found that I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would, it’s a challenge and I enjoy the challenge.”

“From playing, I know how important a decision can be for a referee. I strive to get as many things right as I can. That’s strangely enjoyable, especially when you have a good game and people are satisfied.”

For younger aspiring referees, Stephen’s advice for them is that they have to enjoy themselves and especially have fun, which will make them ‘want to work for it!’

“You have to want it and have to want to work for it. You just need to focus on the little things, as the little things build up… you’re not going to achieve those things over night.”

“Putting in 100% at each drill at training, reading the laws of the game, watching games and making decisions, will get you further to the next step,” he concluded.

Stephen’s next goal is to get involved in the Fourth Officials Panel in Hyundai A-League. We wish him the best of luck in his feature endeavours.

Related Topics:
Referees

News

More News

Talented Player Pathway Review (Hunter Region) Frequently Asked Questions
The purpose of this information is to address some of the questions which have… [more]
Football Applauds New Government Budget Initiatives
 The governing bodies of the State’s largest club based sport, Northern NSW… [more]
Northern Achieves a First in Triumphant Toddler Trial
Northern NSW Football was the first Member Federation to pilot an ALDI MiniRoos… [more]

  MORE NEWS    

Around The Clubs

Kahibah FC Gala Day – For U6,U7,U8 and U9 Players – July 9th
>… [more]
Wallsend Football Club’s 130 Year Anniversary Ball
Wallsend Football Clubs 130year anniversary ball tickets are still available…. [more]
Congratulations to the Winners from the FFA ALDI MiniRoos Survey
PICTURED: Marlee Bevan, Kurri Kurri Junior Soccer Club with her 2017 signed… [more]

  CLASSIFIEDS    

Newcastle Permanent Community Shield

Sponsors