Staffordshire FA were delighted to learn that two match officials from the county have been promoted by the PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Limited) to the EFL Championship, off the back of excellent seasons and consistently good performances over several seasons.
Many congratulations to Craig Taylor (pictured, left) and Matthew Jones (pictured, right) on their recent promotions, which is the result of a lot of hard work and dedication over many years. We wish them both all the very best as they make the step-up in the 2020/21 season.
Below is some background information on the refereeing journeys that Craig and Matthew have been on respectively since first taking up refereeing, which also demonstrates the refereeing pathway opportunities for any aspiring officials out there.
Having passed his Basic Referee’s Course held at Bloxwich Town in 2005, Craig progressed through the West Midlands (Regional) League and eventually gained promotion onto the Conference as an Assistant Referee in 2012. He took the decision to specialise as an Assistant Referee for the 2016/17 season, a year after being promoted onto the Football League. That decision has led to him having the opportunity to be involved as an Assistant Referee in a variety of high-profile fixtures, including the following:
- Assistant Referee in the FA Vase Final 2018.
- Assistant Referee in two FA Cup Fourth Round games in 2018.
- Assistant Referee in two EFL League Two Play-Off Semi-Finals.
- Assistant Referee in two EFL Trophy Semi-Finals.
- Appointed to the EFL Trophy Final in 2020 (Portsmouth v Salford), prior to the 2019/20 Season being brought to a premature end.
Matt first started refereeing in June 2005, with his first two seasons officiating taking place in the Lichfield & District Recreational League, and the Mid Staffs Junior League. He then moved on to open-age football at the age of 16 in the Stafford & District Sunday League and Staffordshire County Senior League, before being promoted to Level 4 at the age of 18. This was swiftly followed by a promotion to Level 3 the following season. Matt has just completed his sixth season as an EFL Assistant Referee and is now embarking on his seventh season with the PGMO. Highlights of Matt’s refereeing journey to date include the following:
- Reserve Assistant Referee on League One Play-Off Final in 2015/16
- Assistant Referee in three Play-Off Semi-Finals as Assistant Referee
- Assistant Referee in two EFL Trophy Semi-Finals
- Assistant Referee in three FA Trophy Semi-Finals
- Assistant Referee in one FA Youth Cup Semi-Final
- Assistant Referee at FA Vase Final in 2017
- Assistant Referee at EFL League Two Play-Off Final in 2019/20
Congratulations once again to Craig and Matt on their promotions, which is undoubtedly a very proud moment for them both as well as for Staffordshire. We wish them both all the very best for the 2020/21 season and beyond. Keep up the good work!