BILL Eaton continues his light-hearted insight into the life of a local referee in his weekly column. This week he hands over his writer’s quill to 16-year-old Emily Carney to talk about her experience as a young female ref

My name is Emily and I am a 16-year-old Year 11 pupil at Mount St Josephs. I have played football since I was 11 for Ladybridge Girls club and am currently in the under-18s team playing in the Greater Manchester Women’s League. 
I started playing regularly after encouragement from my dad who is a qualified FA coach now coaching in the USA.
At Ladybridge we have competed in a number of cup finals one of which was held at the Reebok Stadium and won the league a few times.
At 14 I decided to take the Lancashire FA’s refereeing course at their headquarters in Leyland.
I thought it would give me a better understanding of the rules, I would gain a qualification and, like most teenagers, I wanted some extra money.
The course was fairly intense but the tutors were nice and fun to work with and it was an enjoyable experience.
The most nervous part was the thought of having to referee my first game thinking everyone was looking at me. I have had good support from my parents, and the vast majority of managers, players and parents I have come across have been really supportive and encouraging too.
I am now in my second year of refereeing in the Bolton Bury and District Junior Football League.
One thing I have learnt is that you need to be confident in the decisions you make as there is always at least one person with the opposite opinion and you cannot let their views upset you.
In the future I hope to continue playing football, which may be difficult as the interest in playing by girls and ladies seems to get less as they get older. I want to continue with refereeing and next season to progress to 11-a-side games with the under-13s and above.
I would like the opportunity to do a cup final in the near future, and I recommend the course to anyone with the slightest interest in refereeing in the future.
Bill added: “Part of my referee development saw me mentoring again on a sunny Saturday morning at Astley and Tyldesley, this time a nine v nine game with one of our young female referees.
You can see from Emily’s profile she, like many of our young referees, is also a keen football player.”