Football Queensland South West referee Ashleigh McNamara has been announced as Queensland’s Community Referee of the Year as part of FFA’s rebel Female Football Awards, coinciding with rebel Female Football Week.
The Female Football Awards recognise the important role that women play in all aspects of the game, including as players, coaches and referees, and also celebrate the men who champion female participation in the game.
After a number of years of experience as a referee, McNamara made her debut refereeing in the Toowoomba Football Leagues (TFL) Premier Men’s competition last year, and was also invited to referee at the U19 State Schoolboys/Schoolgirls Championships in Brisbane in 2019.
In a standout year for McNamara, the young referee was also nominated for the Dieter Klose Community Referee of the Year Award at the 2019 Football in Queensland Awards Night.
Having performed at a high standard for a number of years, McNamara has juggled work and study in addition to refereeing, and has officiated at an NPL level for NPL Women’s Semi Final matches on two occasions.
“Refereeing always presents a new challenge, every game is different basically and you don’t know what you can expect,” McNamara said when asked what she enjoys the most about being a referee.
“There’s been a few highlights of my time as a referee; I’ve been to a number of state tournaments, and was also named Female Referee of the Year last year for my zone,” McNamara said.
“Those would have to be two of the main highlights for me.”
Having been involved in football as a player prior to becoming a referee, McNamara says her experiences in football have brought significant benefits over the years.
“There’s definitely room for anything really, for example [refereeing in] the Westfield W-League in the future,” McNamara said.
“I just want to see how things go and see where things take me.
“Being involved in the game has really grown me as a person, grown who I am and my abilities.”
Congratulations to Ashleigh on being named Queensland’s Community Referee of the Year as part of FFA’s rebel Female Football Awards.