To celebrate Female Football Week 2016, Northern NSW Football will be publishing a series of profiles of females flourishing in football, highlighting the important contributions they make to the game.
Profile | Eleanor Jones
In 2012 after playing football for 10 years Eleanor was seeking more opportunities within the game she loved. She wasn’t exactly sure how else she could get more involved in football until her mum came across a Level 4 Referees course. Eleanor jumped at the chance and quickly registered to attend.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect,” she said.
”I turned up and I was the only female on my course. It was really straightforward and the presenter was lovely, I felt at ease right from the start…”
After completing the course she went on to join Macquarie Referees where she continued for another 4 years only breaking to focus on her HSC during 2013. In 2016 she has been lucky enough to join NNSWF State League Referees, where she will have the opportunity to officiate Youth National Premier League (NPL) fixtures along with continuing to officiate for her local branch Macquarie Football referees.
At only 19 years of age, whilst refereeing Eleanor is also undertaking a Bachelor of Nursing at the University of Newcastle and continues to play football in the Northern NSW Herald Women’s Premier League, with Adamstown Rosebud.
During the week she is flat out with work from the University whereas her weekends are jam packed with football. However she says she wouldn’t have it any other way!
“I love it,” she exclaims.
‘’My whole weekend is football and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I usually ref three or four games in one day and I play the other, it takes my mind off Uni for a while and it’s a fantastic job!”
As a player she believes her refereeing philosophy stems from how she likes to be treated as a player.
“I take into consideration how I like to be treated on the field, I want to give the players the best and safest experience… I just want them to enjoy the game!”
When asked where her heart lies between refereeing and playing, she stated that she couldn’t choose between the two.
”I love both just as equally, I just want to have fun and play the best football I can with friends.”
“Although I know I have the ability to go further with referring, so I am excited to see where that will take me!”
Eleanor is looking forward to her first season as part of State League Referees and is humbled by the opportunity to train alongside some other young and up and coming female Referees.
“It’s been fantastic to meet and train with the girls in State League, everyone is very welcoming and inclusive, and I’m also making new friends which is great.”
When asked, ‘What would you say to others thinking of becoming a referee?’ her answer was to encourage everyone to undertake the online laws of the game course and go for it.
“Try it out, there is nothing to be afraid of, it’s rewarding and enjoyable,” she said enthusiastically.
To get started on the path as a referee you can complete the Laws of the game course here.