Northern NSW Football (NNSWF) referee Samantha Newell has officially been announced as the Female Referee of the Year as part of rebel Female Football Week.
Having been a referee for six years, starting when she was twelve years old, Samantha is one of the best up and coming referees in the region and has already showcased her talents at the FFA National Youth Championships, Kanga Cup and NNSWF Talent Officials Program.
Coming through the ranks of Newcastle Football Referees through to State League Referees, she admittedly initially joined the referee ranks to help her playing skills, she says that it has helped her in so many other areas of her game and life.
“I chose to become a referee when I was playing for an inter-district team and was wanting to develop my knowledge of the game and to build my confidence,” Samantha said.
“I have a real passion for football and refereeing has allowed me to get involved in my local community whilst also gaining new friends within my branch.
“Being a referee has helped me gain greater confidence, become a stronger person and has taught me to step out of my comfort zone.”
NNSWF Match Official Development & Administration Officer Brad Carlin stated that Samantha’s efforts and contribution to the game is to be commended and he was pleased to see her win the award.
“It’s always exciting to see a young match official of talent and commitment, who works hard that advances along the pathway to elite officiating,” Carlin said.
“As someone who has given wonderful service to community and premier football for a number of years, and whose consistently fine officiating has resulted in her selection to referee at the upcoming FFA National Championships, Samantha is most deserving of her recognition during rebel Female Football Week.
“She is destined to go far as a match official.”
As one of the most integral parts of football, more and more referees are always needed throughout the region and Samantha encouraged others, particularly women, to participate as a referee.
“It’s really important we gain more referees each year,” she said.
“Northern NSW would definitely benefit from more female referee participation due to the growing number of female teams and the growing opportunity for football to be a career pathway, but there is still is a need for resources and female development.
“To achieve this, it is important for us to gain more female participation across the game and refereeing.”
rebel Female Football Week runs until June 30 and contains various exciting events right across the region. To see the calendar of events, see here.