Manchester FA is delighted to share the news that Referee Matt Donohue has been promoted to Select Group 2 (SG2), which means that he will be officiating games in the EFL Sky Bet Championship during the 2019/20 season.
Matt, 31, has been promoted after impressing during his first season on the EFL, in which he officiated 39 matches across FA and EFL competitions, culminating in his appointment as 4th official to the Buildbase FA Trophy Final between AFC Fylde and Leyton Orient at Wembley Stadium.
Despite having been promoted four times in four seasons, Matt’s recent achievements are no overnight success but built on a foundation of over 17 years refereeing experience.
When asked what his recent success was a result of, Matt explained it was a culmination of several elements. “I like to think I’m hard working both on and off the field of play, whether that in fitness sessions in my own time or just giving it my all on a match day. I’ve benefited hugely from my coaches over the years, too. They have a wealth of knowledge so I listen to everything they say and put it into practice. I feel that my attitude has helped me make the most of the opportunities I’ve received. I know I’m now in a privileged position but can’t wait to get started next season”
The level at which Matt will now be officiating places extra demands on Matt, meaning that he will be stepping down from his role as a Teacher and Key Stage 2 Lead at Greswell Primary School in Denton. Matt was keen to place on record his thanks to Headteacher Mr Cooper for his patience and support, “I’m extremely grateful to the Governors and colleagues who have been behind me every step of the way. I couldn’t have done it without them and I am truly thankful for everything they have done for me.”
It’s not just on the field of play that Matt has his hands full, as his wife Rachel recently gave birth to their first child. “She’s been an absolute rock over the last few years, putting up with me being all over the country pursuing my hobby. Her support has spurred me on to make sure I push myself to make the most of it. I would be nowhere near the referee I am today without having her beside me!”
Tom Elliott, Referee Development Officer at Manchester FA added, “It is wonderful to see how well Matt has done. It is a cliché but Matt’s success is a direct result of the hard work and dedication he puts in. His professionalism is second to none, but what impresses me most about Matt is his attitude. He still helps out with our development pathway and is keen to pass on his knowledge to the next generation of officials. Matt embodies Manchester FA’s core values, I have no doubt he will take to life in the Championship brilliantly.”
The EFL 19/20 season fixture list has today been announced here and everyone at Manchester FA wishes Matt all the best for the coming season.
For more information on refereeing, including how to get started, please email Tom.Elliott@ManchesterFA.com