My journey to being a professional referee: Harry Dobson’s blog


Young Leader Harry Dobson shares his story about what his life has been like a year after passing his FA Refeering course...

Good day ladies and gentlemen, my name is Harry Dobson and I am a Young Leader at Salmon Youth Centre. I am writing this blog because since I became a qualified FA referee last year, I thought its time to share on how I got on since then.

I started refereeing in November in the 10-13s Football club, at first I was placed to do fixtures and managing teams but then when I found out its my turn to referee I thought “oh no! What happens if I give the wrong decision etc.” well it did not lead to that thank goodness, it ended up making me one of the best referees at Salmon.

Because of my interest in being a referee, this lead to Salmon Sports manager Jamie Anglesea giving me an opportunity to meet some training coaches from London FA to take part in The FA (Football Association) Basics Referees Course. Two weeks later, I passed the exam and was ready to start my career in refereeing.

Whilst on the course, they taught me things I needed to know for 11-a-side football, so my personal goal was to find out how I could incorporate my new knowledge whilst still making 5-a-side football on Wednesday at Salmon fun. For starters, the strict rules where you fouled someone in the wrong place, you would normally get booked (a yellow card for caution) for their mistake.

However in Salmon, because we know that they only want to have fun and learn how to play properly at the same time, what we do instead is talk to the players and give advice so the situation doesn’t occur, so it’s like coaching and refereeing all in one go!

Back in the summer, I worked on the FA Respect Campaign programme, which was aimed to show young people the consequences of not showing respect in football.

Since then, the young people have a better understanding of the laws of the games, showing discipline and good attitude towards other players, youth workers and the referee in the game, and this change their outlook on how to play football.

I am really proud for to not only gain experience in refereeing but to see the life of a young person change overtime from the beautiful game that they love to continue playing until they chase their dreams into the world of football.

I really hope that the success continues for the current and new members that attend Salmon’s 10-13s Football club.

Back to Blog