Lindsey Robinson has been based in New Zealand for the past two years as the Referee Development Manager for Football South.
Having grown up in England, Robinson has gathered a wealth of experience in the game and is keen to help guide the next wave of officials in the Pacific.
OFC Media caught up with her for a chat about her refereeing career.
You moved to New Zealand in 2018, what brought you to this part of the world?
I visited New Zealand on a holiday trip earlier in the year and fell in love with the country. Later that year I decided to move to New Zealand to start the role as Referee Development Manager for Football South.
How did you get into football back home?
Coming from Newcastle, in the north east of England you were born into the love of the sport of football. As the youngest of four, from a very young age I was always playing or watching the game.
Do you have a team you still support in English football?
I have always supported Newcastle United FC.
You had the opportunity to officiate the 2018 Women’s FA Cup Final in England, where does that game rank for you in your refereeing career?
As the FA only give this opportunity once in your referee career, the Women’s FA Cup Final was certainly seen as a prestigious appointment to receive within my season and career at the time. The day will certainly stay with me as a great memory and showcase of the competition.
You refereed at the OFC U-19 Women’s Championship in the Cook Islands in 2019, what did you make of that experience?
It was a fantastic privilege to be involved in my first OFC tournament. It was great to play a part within this competition with such an incredible group of match officials from around the OFC region.
You’ve grown refereeing numbers at Football South since you began your role, what do you put that down to?
The growth of the Football South referees has been rising around all areas of the Federation including Southland, South Canterbury, and Central Otago. The existing group have been really welcoming to the new match officials especially at the beginning of their journeys supporting their development and numerous experiences which has certainly encouraged the newcomers to stay and be involved.
Do you think being a co-host of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023 will help New Zealand grow female refereeing numbers?
To be awarded the chance to host such an iconic tournament will give women’s football such a fantastic platform to showcase players, coaches, and match officials from around the world. This in turn will give people in New Zealand a chance to create new role models that will be seen within these roles, including referees.
What are the most important attributes of a good referee?
A lot of people may have their own ideas and thoughts on what makes a good referee; however, in my personal opinion, a good football understanding of tactical and technical knowledge of the game is really key, also good management and communication skills, good fitness, and the ability to make good decisions especially when under pressure.