Wide Bay Football’s Caitlin Troy has been announced as Queensland’s Community Referee of the Year as part of FFA’s rebel Female Football Awards.
The Female Football Awards recognise the important role that women play in all aspects of the game, including as players, coaches, referees, volunteers and administrators.
At 17 years of age and currently completing year 12, Troy was nominated for her dedication to the game, travelling two hours for training sessions and games multiple times a week.
Troy will referee a game on Friday nights and often not leave the ground until 10.30pm to return home, only to turn around and come back again the next morning for her Saturday matches.
If there are FQPL or local games on Sundays, Troy will then have to make the trip for the third time in a row, adding a fourth time to attend training on Mondays.
“My weekend is occupied by football constantly,” Troy said.
“Normally I’ll be refereeing four games on Friday and Saturday and if there is any NPL action on Sunday, I will normally referee a few games there too.”
Age doesn’t seem to be a barrier for Troy, a referee star in the making who commenced refereeing at just 12 years of age and is widely regarded for her superior knowledge of the game.
“I’m very surprised, excited and happy to receive this award,” Troy said.
“It’s a sense of accomplishment for myself, to even be recognised, considering the small region that is Wide Bay.”
Caitlin Troy has aspirations to reach the higher ranks of refereeing, having already cracked the NPL Queensland.
First she will have to tackle the burdens of the final year of school, with refereeing on weekends filling the gaps for this young gun for the time being.
“One day I would like to reach the higher levels of refereeing, starting with FIFA accreditation,” Troy said.
“Then one day I’d love to get to the W-League. That would be great.”
Troy says being a female referee isn’t without its challenges, but she would still encourage girls to pick up a whistle.
“Sometimes I face challenges, with men, particularly older in the NPL who love to challenge me,” Troy said.
“It comes from everywhere, from parents, from the sidelines, from coaches – you just need to be tough and be the best that you can be.
“The most important thing for myself and for those who want to become a referee, is simply don’t give up.”
FQ would like to congratulate Caitlin Troy on her achievement as Community Referee of the Year.