Lincolnshire FA is proud to announce that two young female referees, Aimee Keir and Laura Van Lier, have been promoted and will act as Assistant Referees on the FA Women’s Championship for the 2021/22 season.
Michael Brader, Lincolnshire FA Referee Development Officer, said: “We are delighted that Aimee and Laura have been rewarded by The FA for their dedication and hard work with this promotion into the women’s professional game. The opportunities available to them have never been better and we look forward to watching their further progression. They are fantastic role models for the many young girls entering our game.”
After receiving the news, both officials caught up with Lincolnshire FA to provide some background on their careers in refereeing so far…
I passed my referee course in 2013 aged 17 after wanting to seek a new challenge in football.
Since taking my course I’ve never looked back. Even after some difficult games or challenging situations, I’ve never regretted my decision to become a referee.
The entire experience has helped me gain some invaluable life skills, improving my confidence, communication, and management skills which I can take into everyday life, and allowing me to meet some life-long friends, which I am so grateful for.
Over the last 8 years I have been lucky enough to officiate in a variety of games, right from grassroots to youth international fixtures, and as my refereeing journey continues I can’t wait to see where it takes me and what the future holds in my career.
Laura Van Lier
I have always loved football! I come from a football-mad family. I used to play for the school too but my sports were gymnastics and athletics, where I competed at County level.
After GCSE’S I started to look at what I could do during the very long summer before I started college. I saw courses with qualifications being run by Lincolnshire FA in coaching and refereeing. I wasn’t sure if they were for me but thought I would try it out and see how it goes. I enjoyed the coaching where I learnt about the technical side of football, but it was the refereeing course that really got my interest. Following this I refereed at junior level for 2 years, where I grew my knowledge and confidence. I loved it, I got many opportunities to promote females in football and attended many events throughout the county, promoting opportunities to get involved.
Being a referee has helped me in so many ways, both on and off the field. I have developed my communication skills and have really enjoyed being part of the referee community through being involved with my local Referee Association in Boston. This has given me the opportunity to seek advice and support from experienced colleagues and to learn about all aspects of the game.
As my knowledge and confidence grew, I knew I wanted to progress and started refereeing men’s games and went on the promotion scheme. Being a referee throws at you many challenges, you have to think on your feet and learn to be strong and have confidence, every game is a chance to learn something new. I have experienced the highs and lows but being involved has provided a significant impact on my life and the experiences I have undertaken have made me more determined than ever to press on, and to aim high and develop myself into being the best I can be.
I have had the privilege of officiating England games at St. George’s Park and have received training that is specifically aimed at enabling me to get better. Football is an exciting place to be involved in and I cannot now imagine it not being a part of my life now.
Congratulations, Aimee and Laura, from everyone at Lincolnshire FA!
If you feel inspired and would like to get into refereeing yourself, you can find out more by visiting https://www.lincolnshirefa.com/referees