Manchester FA Referee Matt Donohue has been promoted to the National List of Referees for the 2018/19 season.
Since moving to Manchester some 10 years ago, Matt has become a very popular figure amongst his colleagues and has seen his efforts rewarded with an invitation to join the top referees in the country operating in the English Football League (EFL).
In recent seasons, ‘Donners’ has gone from strength to strength with three successive promotions. Spending just one season at Level 2B (National League North) and another at Level 2A (National League) he has shown just how much he has developed his skills in the lead up to this latest promotion.
When asked about what has helped things move so quickly for him, Matt replied: "Sheer hard work! It sounds a bit cliché but I have had to develop a ‘growth mindset’ which means not only training hard physically but also analysing my own performances to improve."
The vast majority of referees who operate in the National League as a Level 2A match official also have to maintain a full-time job. Matt was quick to mention the support he has received from Greswell Primary School in Denton where he works as a Teacher: "To be able to give my refereeing the level of commitment required, you have to have a solid support network. School have been amazing really, allowing me to chase my dream. I can’t thank them enough."
But it’s not just work that have supported Matt along the way: "I also have to say a huge thank you to my family and wife Rachael. I couldn’t have done it without their help. When you have to go up to Blyth Spartans on a Tuesday night with work the next day, you need their blessing!"
Manchester FA’s RDO, Tom Elliott added: "Everyone at Manchester FA is delighted for Matt. We’ve seen the amount of effort that he puts in and I know it inspires other referees too. He’s still really connected with grassroots colleagues and that is a testament to his attitude. I can’t wait to watch him next season as I think he will continue to do us all proud."
Photo: James Gill Media