2019 Herefordshire County Cup Winners

Interview: Pick Up the Whistle in 2020

We spoke to county referee Attila Moldovan about the reasons he referees and his journey so far

We have just announced the dates of our next mini-soccer referees course and are on the lookout for the next generation of referees to join the team of dedicated match officials who make football possible every weekend.

Once trained as a mini-soccer referee, you'll be able to officiate 5v5 and 7v7 youth football and then, when you feel ready, take the conversion course to become a full FA referee. If you are looking for a new way of being involved in football or want to challenge yourself as a referee, then you can book yourself on to the Mini-Soccer Referee's course by clicking here. If you need a bit of convincing, we spoke to Referee Attila Moldovan about why he got into refereeing and to share his advice with any potential referee's out there.

Attila qualified as a referee in the summer of 2018 and has already reached Level 5 thanks to his commitment and motivation as a match official. Attila has progressed quickly and in just his first season was officiating in County Cup finals and non-league regional fixtures. You can find out more about Attilas journey and why he enjoys being a referee below.

Hi Attila, firstly can you let us know how long you have been involved in football as a referee?

I can break that down into two stages; my first encounter with refereeing was back home in my birth country between 1995-2000 and I have been an active referee in the UK since 2018.

And what convinced you to get into refereeing?

I always wanted to have the best seat in the house when watching a game, so therefore had two options available; either as a player or official. It became obvious that as a player I did not posess sufficient talent to make it so in order to progress up the leagues and through the game as much as possible, I have chosen the second option.

What do you like best about refereeing?

The things I like best can be put into three words; preparation, execution and reflection. What I mean by this is, I really enjoy the process of preperation before the game which involves packing my kit, getting ready and confirming all the details with club and other match officials before making the journey to my match. The highlight of the enjoyment is always the game, the execution, I have to be physically, mentally and emotionally ready to fulfill the task. There is nothing more rewarding than when you are able to bring the three together and deliver it on the pitch. The third component is reflecting on the game and learning from any mistakes - thinking about what could have been done better before taking pride and joy from the positivies of the game.

 Attila Moldovan

Brilliant, in that case what has been the highlight of your time as a referee?

Apart from a few cup final appointments, which are always a high point, the main highlight for me is meeting new people and especially the referees and assistant referees with whom I officiate together. I have had the privilege to officiate with some amazing people from all sorts of backgrounds including ex-Premier League officials to young, newly qualified referees.

What would you say to someone considering picking up the whislte and becoming one of these newly qualified officials?

It is a fantastic opportunity for an individual to chose this path of refereeing in order to build confidence and social skills; not to mention the physical and mental health benefits You have to be prepared to put the effort in to success, although it is categorised as a hobby it really can be more that. I wouldn't say that it is easy to be a referee but if you are able to put in some work at the beginning of your career it will get better and better as you progress through the ranks.

How are you treated as a referee?

This can be the most daunting obstacle when you first pick up the whistle. Whilst you will always have some participants who are not happy with a decision, the important thing is to maintain concentration, believe in yourself and move on. Clubs are doing their best just as referees are trying to do their best.

Thanks for your time Attila; is there anything else you would like to add?

Thanks, I would just like to highlight what is required to be a referee in my opinion.

  • Ensure you're prepared
  • Familiarise yourself with the rules and how to implement them fairly and evenly (you will learn all this on the course)
  • Be confident when communicating with players, coaches and match officials - this requires great skill and you can't let the passion and emotion have an impact on your judgement
  • Enjoy yourself - take up the challenge and you will love it!

Sean Dipple, Herefordshire FA Referee Development Officer commented "Atilla clearly demonstrates why getting into refereeing is worthwhile as whilst for some it may be a hobby there are many pathways and opportunities to develop further as can officiate at a level higher than playing with the right attributes.  I would welcome potential referees of all ages and backgrounds to give this some serious thought and have a go as you may just find a new sporting career. The skill set that Atilla mentions in his interview are spot on and we thoroughly recommend."

Book on to the mini-soccer referee course here

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