Oceania Football Confederation > News > Cook Islands > First-time official makes his mark

First-time official makes his mark

In January, the 16-year-old moved from Mauke, where he was involved in officiating in several sporting codes, to attend Tereora College in Rarotonga.
Introduced to football refereeing by his friend, who is also an assistant referee in the local competition, Makitae is enjoying the role.
“Refereeing football was just going to be a hobby but after the first two matches I really enjoyed the role,“ he says.
“It’s a lot of hard work with training, knowing the rules of the game and applying it all on the field. However with the support I have received from fellow referees I am confident in what I enjoy doing.”
Makitae and his colleague Lloyd Murare always arrive at their scheduled matches an hour early, keen to get the ball rolling.
The youngster has found some homegrown inspiration in the likes of former FIFA referee Michael Mouauri and referee instructor Robert Savage.
He says they have been great sources of support and advice when it comes to his role officiating in the domestic Round Cup, and he believes he has improved immensely thanks to their help.
And like his idols, Makitae is looking to eventually make the move from assisting to controlling the match from the middle – and he is eyeing up a move as early as the 2013 season.
“I see myself doing well here in our local competition before moving up to officiate at an OFC tournament and possibly in a FIFA tournament as well.”
Meanwhile he is encouraging youth to get involved in refereeing saying the benefits he has reaped just in his first year have been amazing.
“There is a future in football, especially as a referee or assistant referee. You have to work hard and apply what you have learnt on the field of play and you will reap the benefits once you have achieved your goal,” he says.
“I would like to express my gratitude to the CIFA referee development officer Lai Gukisuva for the drive and support he has provided me. Football is a worldwide game and the number one participation sport in the world, so why not ride the bandwagon as we say here in Rarotonga.”
Gukisuva says he is impressed by the commitment and drive evident in every single one of the youngster’s performances.
“It’s devotion like Makitae’s that we seek in people who are new to football refereeing,” he says.
“We encourage more youth to take Makitae’s lead and give refereeing a go in the 2013 football season.”
For more on Cook Islands football go to www.cookislandsfootball.com


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