Iso Chats: With a Referee

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Photo credit: Solstice Digital and Photography


Iso-Chats is a series talking with Tasmanian women in soccer. Coronavirus restrictions on sporting events came into place a day after the Summer Cup Final. In response, the official season for women’s competitions in the State have been delayed. 

This next chat is with Claire Green. She plays for the third team on the pitch. You’ll often see her in the middle of the park, with a whistle or on the sidelines holding a flag officiating the match.

 

Claire held back no punches when asked how she’s found the enforced coronavirus break,

“Really unmotivating,” going on to explain why, “Due to the lack of soccer occurring in Tassie and all around the world, I had no one to look up to and nothing to get excited about.”

Despite dealing with the unknown of when football would resume, Claire took the opportunity to take a break and have some time to think.

“It actually helped me a bit. Soccer is such a big passion of mine that I put so much time into, so having an opportunity to focus on other parts of my life was much needed.”

Technology has been useful for our referees, beyond the hotly debated Video Assistant Referee. Claire has had access to FIFA home training guides, that involves a mixture of body weight training and running. Video calls provided another opportunity to hone her skills.

“[Tasmania’s referee Development Manager] Tony has been great in keeping us all involved with frequent zoom calls covering various aspects of refereeing. This gave us opportunities to revisit the new laws we were unable to apply due to the lack of games.”

High hopes as a result of hard work over the offseason have been disrupted due to the break, forcing Claire to reassess and push back goals she had set out at the start of the year. 

“I started this season with my first WSL centre during the Summer Cup, and was lucky enough to officiate the final. I had so many goals and big things coming up this year.   With the season being interrupted, it feels like the drive to succeed has diminished. I’m sure this will change when things resume.”

A return to National Youth Championships is on hold, with this year’s edition of the tournament cancelled. The chance to impress on the national stage and push for opportunities interstate with NTC or National Youth League are now delayed for Claire.

“It shattered me. With the lack of knowing when things would resume, it was hard to stay on track with my goals. I worked so hard to pass the needed fitness tests for this season. For it all to suddenly come to a halt was very disappointing.”

Now on the other side, with matches nearing, Claire is taking the past 3 months in her stride. Her current goal of reaching the W-League and A-League is in sight, with the mess this season has caused not blurring her ambition.

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