Joshua, 14, and Jackson Yates, 16, are two brothers from Lismore who are promising, up-and-coming referees in the Football Far North Coast (FFNC) region and Northern NSW Football (NNSWF) including joint-winning the FFNC Commitment to Refereeing Award in 2017 as well as being named as a Newcastle Permanent Referee of the Month in May.
With both being football fanatics from young ages, they took up the challenge of becoming an official due to their love of the game, and their desire to learn more.
The two boys believe that becoming a referee has helped them appreciate the role more and has helped develop their skills in many areas.
“From being a referee as well, I now have a lot of respect for the referee and for their decision,” older brother Jackson said.
“What I enjoy most about refereeing is being able to make strong decisions when they need to be made.”
Younger brother Joshua agreed when he said, “I love that football allows me to learn new skills.
“I enjoy meeting new people from all different areas.”
Although both brothers love the role, they agreed that refereeing presents its fair share of challenges as well, however, it’s taught them to overcome those challenges.
“I overcome negativity directed at me by ignoring it and backing my judgement,” said Joshua.
“I just get on with the job… A player’s role is to play and a referee needs to ref, so you shouldn’t cross that line,” Jackson reiterated.
As well as believing that becoming a referee has assisted them in developing a greater respect and understanding for officiating, the two brothers also believe that by becoming whistle-blowers, that their playing abilities have developed as well and they encouraged others to see for themselves.
“I’d encourage other young people to referee because they can learn more about playing by being a referee,” said Joshua.
Jackson echoed his brother’s thoughts saying, “Yes I think people would learn more about the sport they enjoy by becoming a referee.”
The work both on and off the field that Jackson and Joshua continue to display is wonderful and admirable and both are definitely worthy of special mention as part of Newcastle Referee Recognition Week.
To view all the Referee Profiles from throughout the week, click here.