Football Queensland’s May edition of Behind the Whistle shines a spotlight on Brisbane match official Jack Powers, who discusses his love of football and his drive to support younger referees.
Behind the Whistle provides talented match officials from across the state with a platform to share their experiences in refereeing.
In his sixth year with the whistle, 21-year-old Powers told of his passion for the sport and how he balances refereeing with studying a master’s degree and teaching first year university students.
“Time management as a referee is really important so that you are available each week for games and training,” Powers said.
“I always lay out my officiating schedules alongside my university goals and deadlines.
“Refereeing is a growing experience that requires communication, conflict management, problem solving, and fast decision-making skills, but I have found that it has really helped with my confidence in my professional and academic career.”
After undergoing shoulder surgery late last year, Powers admits that remaining active in the football community has been one of his highlights since returning to the field.
“I have a rare condition known as PVNS, which affects my range of motion and sometimes causes pain when I run,” Powers said.
“I don’t let it affect me. If I can’t physically be on the field, I am doing everything in my power to support myself for when I return.
“At the moment, I am doing a Level 3 Assessor course so I can assess younger referees and join FQ’s mentoring program.”
Eager to help other young players get involved as a match official, Powers explained how the community and training experience has helped him to grow as a referee.
“For younger referees getting started, I recommend they talk to as many experienced referees as possible and be open to feedback in training,” he said.
“Everyone in the community is really supportive.
“You’re training with the best referees in Australia who are always willing to share their knowledge on player management, match management and communication.”
Powers, who is currently officiating U23 NPL Queensland matches, is hopeful about his future as a referee.
“I would like to one day reach the A-League, but for now I am looking at completing my Level 2 referee assessments.”
“I have really clear goals set for my career but being fit and staying healthy is ultimately what I hope to achieve as a referee.”
Words: Charlotte Monteath