For 17 year old local Emily McGrath refereeing football in the Bankstown District provides her with a great opportunity to develop her skills and work as a team.

“I enjoy being in control of the games and it’s not just about the on-field action that is great it’s also the social aspect that Bankstown Football Referees has to offer. It’s like having a second family”.

Emily has been involved in many aspects of football in the district apart from refereeing as she is also a qualified coach and continues to play as well. Reflecting on her short career so far, Emily reflects on her highest achievement yet.

“My first Platinum League game as a referee is undoubtedly my most memorable game. I am the youngest referee, I am the youngest female referee to referee this high of a level. It definitely proved that hard work and dedication pays off” commented Emily.

Refereeing is by far the hardest job in world sport, no matter what people do not agree with you but it’s a job that is needed to be done, especially in football. Emily’s advice to young aspiring female referees was quite simple.

“Ignore people’s comments whether it be on or off the field and focus on the game and no matter what stick to your decision. Be confident in what you are doing and female referees are no different to their male counterparts”.

On a lighter note, young Emily is only 154cm in height which many would say is quite short but Emily’s response to that is simple.

“Good things come in small packages. I have a loud voice and I feel confident in the middle so that helps a lot” laughed Emily.

As part of the Bankstown Festival of Football, Bankstown District Amateur Football Association (BDAFA) in conjunction with Bankstown Football Referees (BFR) will be hosting a Female Referee’s Level 4 course to encourage women to referee football.

The Level 4 course will be held on Sunday 19 March at Stuart Street Reserve, Padstow. For more information please go to – or email Kate –