It is often said refereeing can be a challenge and hard work! It is also very rewarding and gives you the chance to challenge yourself and test your footballing abilities in a different way.
Halfway through the season, we were approached and asked if Alexander Wilson would be able to attend the referee course at Westmorland FA. Alexander has been diagnosed with dyspraxia, which is a common disorder that affects movement and co-ordination.
Alexander wanted to challenge himself and get onto a pitch and enjoy the game he loves. Westmorland FA were delighted to enrol Alexander on the course, and he is now enjoying his Sunday mornings and afternoons as a Westmorland County FA Match Official.
We caught up with Alexander and his parents, to ask them a few questions about his refereeing journey.
What have you found most challenging whilst refereeing?
The most challenging thing is expecting myself to get most of the decisions correct even though it is an impossible task!
What has been your best moment whilst refereeing?
My best moments are finishing a game and when I reflect, I think I have got most of the important decisions correct.
What do you want to achieve in the next few seasons as a referee?
I hope to keep improving, make my signals clearer and my whistle blowing more consistent and eventually start refereeing higher level games.
How pleased are you to see Alexander refereeing?
It's fantastic that he's been able to find a way to participate in football in a really practical way. He loves the game but has always found it difficult to play, so refereeing has been a brilliant way for him to get involved.
Alexander is going from strength to strength as a referee and taking the time to learn from the sessions provided at the Donald Shepherd Referee Academy. With the season drawing to a close, there are often some really big appointments and challenges for young match officials. Alexander was appointed to be an assistant referee on our SM Jones Under 12 boy’s semi-final. Alexander was brilliant on the day, correctly identifying two offsides and supported Eve as the referee in awarding a free kick.
As a result, Alexander was invited to the Westmorland County FA Cup Final evening with PGMOL, Women’s Super League and FIFA Assistant Referee Lucy McCann. That evening after a physical pitch session and a presentation on matchday expectations, it was revealed that Alexander has been appointed as the assistant referee for this season's Under 14s Girls County Cup Final.
We are also delighted to confirm Alexander is March’s Under-18 referee of the month and has also been appointed to the Kent Valley League Under 11s Boys Final as an assistant referee!
Well done Alexander, keep up the great work!