Staffordshire has long been a hotbed of footballing talent, from top-level clubs to local amateur teams.
And while the players often take centre stage, the referees who oversee the games play an equally vital role in ensuring that everything runs smoothly and fairly.
Recently, three referees from Staffordshire have been recognised for their dedication and hard work, earning well-deserved promotions in their careers.
Alexander Perkin Specialist AR Step 3/4 to Step 2
In the world of football, referees are responsible for ensuring that the game is played fairly and safely. For Alexander Perkin, a match official since 2010, his dedication and hard work have paid off in the most exciting way possible: a promotion from Specialist AR Step 3/4 to Step 2.
Alexander's journey to becoming a referee began with a course put on at School by Staffordshire FA, where he discovered his love for the game and his desire to become a referee. Despite thinking that he didn't have the footballing ability to transition from Junior to Senior football, Alexander was determined to succeed.
His hard work and determination paid off, and his standout moment in his refereeing career came when he was recently promoted to the National League list as an Assistant Referee. This is a huge achievement for Alexander, who has worked tirelessly to hone his skills and make a name for himself in the football community.
When asked about his future aims, Alexander expressed his desire to enjoy every game and hopefully progress to the National League. With his talent and dedication, there's no doubt that he will continue to soar to new heights in his refereeing career.
Niall Smith Level 3 - 2B
For Niall Smith, his passion for refereeing began at a young age when he was just 13 years old. Days before his 14th birthday, he passed his course and was promoted from Level 2 to Level 2B, marking a new milestone in his journey as a match official.
Niall's journey to becoming a referee was inspired by his PE teacher and family members who introduced him to the profession. With an “average” football ability, he saw refereeing as an avenue to reach a higher level of football than he ever would playing the game. Niall's dedication and hard work in his role as a referee have led him to this latest promotion, a testament to his talent and passion for the sport.
Niall has had many great memories and moments as a referee, but his recent experience at the national league game between Kidderminster Harriers and Scarborough was one of his most memorable moments. This was closely followed by his upcoming FA Youth Cup 5th round game between Cambridge and Sheffield Wednesday. These experiences highlight Niall's dedication and passion for the game, and his love for the role of the referee.
When asked about his future aims, Niall expressed his desire to continue enjoying his refereeing, while also aspiring to move up the pyramid in the future. His short-term aim between now and the end of the season is to settle at this new level of football and referee well. With his talent, passion and commitment, there's no doubt that Niall will continue to make a name for himself in the football community and achieve great success in his refereeing career.
Niall's promotion to Level 2B is a reflection of the many opportunities available in the world of football for those who are passionate and committed.
Dave Williams Level 5-4
For Dave Williams, football has always been a passion, and the opportunity to become a referee has allowed him to be a part of the sport in a unique and exciting way. After seven years in the profession, Dave's hard work and dedication have paid off, earning him a promotion from Level 5 to Level 4.
As a referee, Dave finds the opinionated nature of football fascinating, enjoying hearing and learning from the perspectives of different people. This passion for the sport and its diverse community has helped him excel in his role as a match official, providing a fair and safe environment for all players on the pitch.
Dave's biggest achievement so far has been his county cup final, where he was able to showcase his skills and dedication to the sport. His recent promotion to a national level is another testament to his talent and commitment, reflecting the many opportunities available in the world of football for those who work hard and excel in their roles.
Looking to the future, Dave is determined to continue developing his skills as a referee, setting his sights on achieving Level 3 within two years. Additionally, he aims to take on the role of mentoring new referees, sharing his knowledge and experience to help guide the next generation of match officials.
Dave's promotion to Level 4 is a great accomplishment, and his dedication and passion for the sport is an inspiration to others. As the football community continues to grow, it's clear that there will be many more opportunities for talented referees like Dave to make their mark and achieve great success.
Our congratulations also goes to Ben Robinson and Harry Warner who have both been promoted from Level 3 to Level 2B.