#Femaleinthegame – Stacey Pearson
Stacey Pearson started refereeing in the South West and has since seen her journey in refereeing go from strength to strength including being an assistant referee in the 2018 Women’s FA Cup Final, so why not take you're first steps into refereeing today?
Stacey has had a strong passion for football from an early age playing for local youth teams (both mixed and girls only). Progressing from youth to open age football saw Stacey represent Exeter City as well as Yeovil Town where she spent 10 years even playing in the Women’s Super League 2 when it was first created.
When asked how Stacey transitioned from playing to refereeing she said “I always saw myself as someone who would be playing until I was well into my 40s, however, that changed when I was asked to do a referee’s course by the late Keith Buller. I was a PE teacher, so thought it would be a handy qualification to have. Little did I know, it would lead to many opportunities and achievements that have far outweighed anything I have achieved as a player. During my playing career I had won league titles, promotions, county cup and league cup finals but nothing compares to now representing England as a referee internationally.”
Stacey was 25 when she did the referees course and started by refereeing Girls Centre of Excellence games to gain confidence. “I then decided to bite the bullet a year or so later and refereed a men’s game. Since then, I haven’t looked back and have managed to climb the pyramid to Level 3 in the men’s game and a 1W in the women’s game. To start with, I was able to manage refereeing and playing but once I got high enough, I made the decision to focus on refereeing and that decision has enabled me to achieve more than I thought I would.”
Some of Stacey’s biggest achievements as a referee are being assistant referee on the Women’s FA Cup Final in 2018 and being added to the FIFA list in 2020 therefore being able to referee internationally. Stacey added, “I have recently had the last season out as I have just given birth to a little boy. I am looking forward to getting myself fit and getting back to it to see what the future holds for my refereeing career. The sky is the limit!”
Stacey also has some advice to aspiring females in the game, “Playing the game is amazing, but it also gave me the skills and confidence to become a good referee too. My only regret is that I didn’t do the course sooner. So, I urge you to give it a go, as you never know how good you can be unless you get out of your comfort zone and give it a try. It may also open more doors for you. There is never a better time to be a female referee.’’
If you have been inspired by Stacey’s story and want to get into refereeing we are running our final referees course of the year at Wadebridge Town FC on Monday 25th July 6pm – 9pm and Sunday 31st July 9am – 5pm.
Click here for more information on the Referee course running on Monday 25th July.
We are also exploring the possibility of running a female only referee course later in the year, if you are interested, please click here to complete an expression of interest form or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.