Football Queensland are pleased to announce teenage Gold Coast referee Keita Emsden as the February winner of the Referee of the Month award.
“It’s a shock and an absolute privilege,” Emsden said of his award.
“I really enjoy it (refereeing), from a playing and now a refereeing point of view, it has given me a whole new take on football.
“Refereeing develops you as a leader, you can transfer those skills into a whole lot of other parts of life.”
Emsden said he has no specific goal in mind for his refereeing career, but wants to see how far he can take it.
“Right now it’s a bit of a see-how-it-goes kind of thing, but I love it, as a job I much prefer it to working in a fast-food takeaway joint,” Emsden joked.
“I have definitely learnt a lot about confrontation and it gives you a lot of confidence and management skills.
“Refereeing gives you the skills to deal with all kinds of situations.”
Emsden was nominated by Football Gold Coast referee development coordinator Craig O’Neill, who said Emsden recently officiated the NPL U16s clash between Gold Coast United and Brisbane Roar FC Youth, and received a glowing report from the Brisbane Roar FC youth academy director.
“The feedback he received was a glowing praise,” O’Neill said. “He’s an enthusiastic young referee, he has great potential and takes the feedback and coaching on every week.”
O’Neill said Emsden has the ingredients needed to become a top referee.
“He’s been one we’ve been nurturing through the ranks, he has progressed very well,” he said. “He’s got a very good commitment to refereeing.”
“In terms of taking on feedback, the assessors have said he truly goes out and applies what he learns and puts it into practice.
“He has a great approach to the teamwork within refereeing as well. He’s genuine and reliable too.”
O’Neill said the next step for Emsden, who won last year’s Gold Coast Most Improved Junior Referee of the Year award, is to continue his development at a higher level.
“Last year we nominated him to go away to state championships but he had to withdraw due to school,” O’Neill said.
“We are encouraging him to keep developing so he can one day grow into the FQPL and NPL level.
“He’s only 17 but has got potential to go a long way.”