A small piece of history was made in Illawarra Football at the weekend when, for the first time ever, a three person female referee team were in charge of a Men’s First Division Game in the Peoplecare District League.
Three up and coming young female referees were appointed to control the Balgownie Rangers v Shell Cove match at Judy Masters Oval on Saturday 12th September.
Demi Goddard was the referee and she was very ably supported by Assistant Referees Annaliese Phipps and Casey Flemming.
All three are products of a growing junior nursery of referees within Football South Coast ranks and a growing number of young females taking up refereeing.
In addition to plying their trade to the Men’s ranks on Football South Coast games, all three are pursuing refereeing in the Football New South Wales Competitions.
Demi has been appointed to a number of National Premier League (NPL) Women’s Division 1 matches whilst Casey recently made her debut at the same level.
The young referees are using the Men’s competition games to assist in their development through intensely competitive matches.
With a Women’s World Cup on the horizon in a few years we are hopeful that some will progress. It is a long, tough and demanding road to the top in FIFA refereeing ranks, but if the determination and effort being shown by the girls to date is evidence, who knows what the future might bring them.
From all reports their performance on Saturday was very well received by players, officials and spectators at the game.