Recently, our Referee Development Officer, Conor Brown, sat down with Leoni Harland, the new Female Referee Lead on the Referee Development Team to discuss what Leoni will bring to the role and opportunities she will provide for Female Officials across Greater Manchester.
Tell us about yourself…
"My refereeing journey started back in 2017 when I got injured and had to stop playing football for a while. I knew I wanted to stay involved in the game and I was made aware of a Referee’s course that was taking place and signed myself up. Refereeing has truly changed my life and since then I have taken every opportunity that has come my way and have progressed and developed not only as a Match Official but as a person as well".
Why do you want to be part of the Referee Development Team?
"I want to be part of the Referee Development Team to be able to provide a voice for Female Match Officials in Greater Manchester. I am passionate about sharing my experiences and helping to inspire the next generation of Female Referees. I am really looking forward to getting started with this new role to help provide support, guidance, and development opportunities for Female Referees in Greater Manchester".
What do you think the biggest challenges are for Female Referees in Greater Manchester?
"I think every Female needs a role model, someone that they can see themselves in and inspire to be like. For me we don’t have enough of them within Greater Manchester, and I am all about changing that. I want to provide every Female Referee in Greater Manchester, the opportunity to achieve their goals and help them with to truly believe that if they want to achieve something then they can. We have some incredible Female Referees in Greater Manchester that we need to utilise and use them to provide development opportunities for our new and current Female Match Officials".
How can registered Female Match Officials get involved in development opportunities within Greater Manchester?
"Over the next couple of weeks, I will be in contact with all registered Female Match Officials with information about some new and exciting meetings, events and development opportunities that are coming up. We already have several development groups here at Manchester FA and any Match Official that shows potential will be invited into those groups".
How can Females get involved in Refereeing in Greater Manchester?
There has never been a better time to get involved in refereeing than right now and we are running plenty of Referee courses throughout August. If you are interested, then contact Manchester FA to find out when they are!
Speak to someone at Manchester FA today!