Newcastle Permanent Referee Recognition Week

Ian Dallinger 

Age: 66

Years Officiating: 32

Why did you start refereeing?

I was coaching my son’s soccer team and due to the lack of referees I usually ended up refereeing the game. I decided that I might as well get my refs ticket, so have been refereeing ever since. Gave up coaching when we my son decided to stop playing and just kept refereeing.

What was your involvement in football before refereeing?

I started playing at when I was 8 years old in Sydney and continued playing until I moved to Tamworth in 1976. Since then I’ve played Sunday morning soccer for fun, I coached my son’s team from under 7’s to under 12’s. I’ve also coached a Tamworth under 9’s representative team. Being an old goalkeeper in my younger years, won the All Age Division 1 in 1970 in Gladesville Hornsby competition as the team’s keeper and saving 3 penalties on the way.

Are you still involved in football outside of being a referee? How?

I have on a few occasions assisted my son with his two teams in Gosford as two of my grandsons play in the under 12’s and under 13’s. As an ex goalkeeper I have run a couple of coaching clinics with him. I have given his team’s keepers some specific coaching.

What is a highlight from your refereeing career?

Being involved refereeing at the introduction of the first intra district competition. Seeing many players move through the ranks of juniors to seniors. Refereeing school games in recent times, seeing the sportsmanship of the young players and their enjoyment of the game brings me great joy.

What is the best thing about refereeing?

It was one way I could give back to the game I love so much. If there is no referee, then games often would not be able to be played. Seeing many young players, boys and girls enjoying themselves and getting more skilful as they develop. Seeing the development of our young referees gives me great faith in the future of our beautiful game.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of becoming a referee?

I would encourage anyone wanting to referee to give it a go, trust themselves and their knowledge of the rules. Listen to the senior referee’s advice as we all had to start somewhere, and they often have come across numerous situations and learnt how to deal with them. I would encourage ex-players to take up the whistle so they can give something back to this great game.