Name: Brock Smith
Age: 17 years
Zone: Football Far North Coast
Years Officiating: 5 years
17-year-old Brock Smith has been playing football since the age of twelve and currently plays in the Men’s 2nd Division in Football Far North Coast, and is a match official in the Lismore Branch.
Originally drawn to become a referee to gain a new perspective on the sport as well as the opportunity to earn some pocket money on the side, Brock has quickly risen through the ranks. With accolades such as selection for Northern NSW Football’s Talented Officials Program (TOP) Camp in 2018, and also being appointed as an official in the FFNC Men’s Premier Division Grand Final in 2017.
As a player, Brock believes being an official has befitted him greatly.
“As a referee, you are able to experience football from another perspective, and the knowledge learned as referee can help as a player,” Brock said.
“I’d love to be a Premier Division referee in Football Far North Coast and potentially officiate in higher divisions in different regions.
When asked about challenges of the role of Match Official, Brock shared that there are some.
“Dealing with the players can sometimes be challenging as they all have their own personal opinion on each decision you make.
“I feel some players feel undermined when a younger referee is the match official and they feel they can override the ref’s decision due to their age or possibly experience and years of playing.”
In addition to this, Brock called on spectators and football fans alike to limit the abuse given to match officials but encouraged his fellow referees to continue despite the negativity, offering some advice from his own experiences:
“I strongly feel that match officials should have ongoing support and training (especially the junior officials) so they can feel confident when faced with unwanted abuse and understand how they can handle it,” he said.
“Club’s need to take responsibility for the actions of their players and spectators. They too need to follow up with heavy penalties.
“I’d advise other officials to be confident in every decision you make, sometimes it may be an incorrect decision as we are not all perfect, however players will not contest your decision if you are confident.”
Although Brock is still young, he is keen and determined to continue his refereeing career and achieve as much as he can as well as inspiring others along the way.
“Being a referee is a very challenging occupation, but very rewarding in the end,” concluded Brock.
Thank you to Brock and all our match officials for their valued contribution to the game.