Dennis Jack

Level 7

I joined the Croydon Referee Society when I qualified quite some time ago. To me it’s a no brainer. For the equivalent of one match fee, I not only get the support of the RA and insurance should something go wrong, but at our regular monthly meetings are kept up to date with annual laws changes, along with FA and RA initiatives. It can be a somewhat lonely life travelling on your own to officiate at matches, and to get the support and chance to discuss some of the incidents and how you handled them at the monthly meetings with other referees is an invaluable tool. Guest speakers add interest, motivation and understanding of how to develop and put you in the best position to get the big decisions right. I would urge all referees, no matter what level, to belong to their local Society.

Dane Johnston

Level 3F

In 2009 After being told by a parent from the football team I was playing for when I was 15 that a referee course was being held at Trinity school in Croydon, I persuaded my Mum to drive me down there that evening. Unbeknown to me the course started 2/3 weeks before my arrival! However the training team from Croydon society allowed me to stay & I’ve never looked back! Very early on in my refereeing career I was told to consider joining a society which I also had to persuade my Mum to take me to every month! So I joined Croydon Referee’s Society, I very quickly learnt this was a great place where you could meet other referee’s at all levels and discuss all manner of situations that can arise during the game & listen to guest speakers that would give you great advice & also tell you of things that didn’t go well. I was also assigned a mentor or coach as they are known now who would help steer me in the right direction, coming to games & speaking on the phone if you needed their advice/ help. Geoff Turner was one of trainers the first evening I turned up & he has helped me every step of the way, to this day I know he is always available if I need honest advice. Thank you Geoff for being on the other end of the phone if needed, you are very much appreciated. I have worked my way up from grass roots & I very early on decided that running the line was the path I wanted to take, even though I thoroughly enjoy refereeing I feel my skill set on the line is my calling. The 2023/2024 season will be my first season in the Conference National League South of which I am really looking forward to.

Martin O'Halloran

Level 5

Having been a member of the Croydon Referees Society for over 20 years, I can only say I have always found everyone to be very welcoming and supportive. Starting as a newly qualified referee I was then encouraged to apply for promotion and supported through the process - up to a Senior County Level 5 referee. The monthly meetings have given us the opportunity to both listen to more senior and experienced referees and to engage in 'grass roots' conversations ;: This was particularly helpful for newly qualified referees and I believe I was able to then support others as they embarked upon the challenge of running around a wet, muddy pitch on a cold Sunday morning in January ! Embrace the opportunities and believe you are making a difference: Sunday football league team numbers are dropping, but the need for qualified, fit, interested and supportive referees will remain. Enjoy the experience as I have. Having moved 'up north' I have yet to decide if the moors of Yorkshire have as much appeal as the Purley Way playing fields, but I'll maintain my registration as " never say never".

Steve Watson

Level 5

As a manager in the Selsdon Little League, we were encouraged to do the Referees course, I was one of a handful who did so. Having qualified in 2002, I reffed youth football for 3 seasons before moving up to adult football. Since 2002 I have been a regular attendee at our monthly meetings. We have had so many good speakers. There is always something to learn and tips to pick up from experienced referees. Clips from match incidents are always popular and we can see how difficult it is to get every decision correct. We are all seeking to improve no matter how many years we've served. The Society has been invaluable to me. I encourage any referee who isn't a member of a society to join one. If Croydon is your nearest society, then we will be very pleased to see you.