Name: Zachary Butchard
What prompted you to become a football referee?
I became a referee because I love football and refereeing allows me to use my love and knowledge of the game to help earn me money, make new friends and to have some responsibility.
Do you play football? Who do you play for?
I play football for Under 14 Maitland Magpies NPL.
How has becoming a referee changed the way you approach the game as a player?
It has helped me see things through the referee’s point of view and I now have a better understanding of the laws of the game.
How do your parents feel about you being a referee?
They think it’s great because I am showing initiative and responsibility while earning money.
What have you learnt as a referee that you’ve been able to apply in real life?
It has taught me how to manage different types of people such as people of different ages and genders. It has also given me more confidence in doing things that I normally wouldn’t.
What is it about football and that you love?
I love the skill and competitiveness of it. I love the spirit of the game and the number of people from across the worlds that are bound together because of their love of football.
What do you most enjoy about refereeing?
I enjoy helping people play the football in a nice, friendly environment.
Have you ever experienced negativity as a referee? How did you overcome it?
I am lucky enough to of not had any negativity from players or supporters.
If there was one piece of advice you could pass down to new referees or people thinking about becoming referees – what would it be?
To believe in yourself, don’t panic or over think it and have fun!
Would you encourage your friends to become referees?
Do you have a mentor? If yes, who? What is the most important thing they’ve taught you?
John Hanlon is my mentor. The most important thing he has taught me, is to have fun and smile, because it makes you feel goods but it also puts the players in a better mood.
Who’s your favourite A-League team?
Zach has been referring for two years with Hunter Valley Referring Association and has been a recipient of the Newcastle Permanent Referee of the Month Award. He’s also a representative player for Maitland Magpies NPL and has attended the Northern NSW Football Boys Talented Official Program Camp in Coffs Harbour, held in conjunction with the Boys State Championships.