When Lucy Hungerford saw her older brother refereeing at Lake Macquarie, she felt like she wanted to be part of the game. She then signed up for the next referee seminar and was on her way to picking up the whistle for the first time.
Fast forward to now and Lucy is enjoying her second year as a match official. She referees in the Premier Youth Competitions and has already made her first grade debut.
Northern NSW Football is celebrating Newcastle Permanent Referee Recognition Week from July 20 to 26, thanking the wonderful match officials who make playing football across northern NSW possible.
“What I love most about refereeing is having control over making sure that the game is being played fairly. It keeps you fit and you get to meet lots of new people as well,” Lucy said.
“If people already play football they can get a better understanding for the game and it can build up your confidence in high-pressure situations as well.”
The 14-year-old said refereeing also had a number of challenges. For her, that included refereeing girls the same age as her and making sure she kept an eye on everything, including what goes on in back play.
Lucy has already enjoyed some memorable experiences, including making her first grade debut as an assistant referee during a Herald Women’s Premier League match between Thornton Redbacks and Mid Coast FC.
The St Catherine’s Catholic College, Singleton student also got to act as an assistant referee for her brother during an under-17s game last year, a game that her other brother was also playing in.
“My older brother is one of my biggest influences. He’s not afraid to say the truth about some of the calls that I have made in games which makes me a better referee,” Lucy said.
“In the future I would like to be able to work my way up the ranks and referee in the WPL and NPL.”