Referee Profile: Andrew Digby

September 1st, 2016

Refereeing for over 20 years, this will be Andrew’s last year officiating in the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues competition.

Andrew is 37 years of age and has been involved in football since he was a junior playing for Inverell and District Soccer Association in Northern Inland. Upon moving to Newcastle in 1995, he played with Phoenix FC, Wallsend FC (including as a player in its U/18 State League Grand Final team which lost the Grand Final to Highfields FC in 1997), Stockton FC and Adamstown FC.

Andrew decided to become a match official and stop playing football in 2005. Andrew didn’t want to stop his involvement in the game he loves most and believed the best way he could contribute was to become a match official.

Starting with Macquarie Football Referees Association from 1997 to 2006 he then progressed to Northern New South Wales State League Football Referees, which he has been involved with for the last 12 years.

Andrew’s initial First Grade match he officiated in the National Premier Leagues (NPL) competition was back in 2008, between West Wallsend FC and Olympic FC. Since then he has officiated for 8 consecutive years as a referee on First Grade finals series matches.

This Sunday’s game will be his second NPL First Grade Grand Final to officiate. The first time was three years ago for the 2013 Grand Final battle between Broadmeadow Magic FC and Lambton Jaffas FC which is one of his highlights.

Another highlight to date of his was when he officiated at the World Masters Games in 2009 in Sydney

As Sunday’s game will be his last as a referee on an NPL First Grade match, Andrew still wants to be involved in the game but believes it is right for him to step back from the highest level locally whilst he is still officiating at his peak.

Andrew believes he has achieved far more than he ever expected to achieve as a referee. Beyond this weekend he still wants to continue his involvement with refereeing but also wants to focus on his family and work. He will step down and be more involved in the Zone Premier Leagues competition.

The biggest influences on his refereeing career have been former State League First Grade referees, Otto Scevak, Luke Davies, and Rodney Allen.

Andrew’s advice to young match officials is to, work hard, listen and learn, and above all, be friendly and respectful by speaking to players and officials in the same way that you would like them to speak to you.

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