Referee Spotlight- Kirsty Dowle
Kirsty has loved football her whole life, having played football since the age of six. However, she only decided to explore officiating whilst conducting her Master's research at the University of Portsmouth.
Shortly afterwards, Kirsty enrolled on her first refereeing course in Ramsgate and her first game was to ref the Sandwich U10.
“I didn’t have any kit, so a colleague of mine brought some spare kit for me to use but it was so big it felt like a nightie. In that game, I made a mistake that I would never let happen again. I allowed one team to make a sub while the goalkeeper held the ball for more than six seconds and I just allowed them to play on.”
Kirsty has only been refereeing for just a very short period, in comparison to her colleagues, having qualified towards the end of 2013. Kirsty’s usual day-to-day role is one as a Revenue Protection worker on the railway. But refereeing has also helped Kirsty in her day-to-day role.
“Off the pitch, I work on the railways and I encounter a lot of conflict and confrontation doing that. I think refereeing has helped me with the way I talk to people and has given me the confidence to tell people straight if I need to. Of course, other people you need to speak to differently because everybody reacts differently, and it's helped with the way that I'm able to pitch myself in certain situations.”
Currently a Level 3 referee in the male pathway, Kirsty is also a FIFA referee within the female pathway, with her most favourable memory being that of her Assistant Referee appointment to The FA Women’s Cup Final in 2018 (at Wembley, in front of almost 50,000).
Her biggest piece of advice for anyone wishing to become a referee, or new into officiating: “Understand that mistakes will be made, learn from them to make you better”.
For more information about refereeing in Kent please contact Referees@KentFA.com.