Yesterday we were delighted to learn that Somerset FA referee, Stacey, has been appointed to officiate the nations top-flight competition in Women's Football.
We would like to extend a huge message of congratulations to Stacey, this appointment is testament to her hard work and dedication to the game.
Stacey has been appointed to numerous prestigious matches and a European tournament; Stacey was fourth official for the Women's Champions League Quarter Final tie against Chelsea and Wolfsberg as well as assistant refereeing an Under 19 UEFA prep tournament in Swizerland. In addition, she refereed our Senior Cup Final last season (pictured above) and has also been appointed as Fourth Official for our Premier Cup Final this season on May 8th.
Stacey Pearson spoke with our Marketing Officer, Conor, and expressed that she was 'over the moon' with her appointment. "It is one you would always love to be involved in as a female referee but I was still surprised to receive the call. We have a really good team and I am really looking forward to working with them on a really exciting occasion
"I did the referees course 6 years ago on a whim, the late Keith Buller asked if I fancied it so I just said yea why not, I am a PE teacher so thought it'd be another useful course to tick off the list. I didn't ever imagine it would lead me on the journey I am now taking. I started the promotion ladder 5 years ago and after doing my first men's game in the Yeovil league I haven't looked back."
Matt Eva, Referees Development Officer at Somerset FA congratulated Stacey and added: "This appointment is recognition of Stacey’s hard work and dedication to refereeing. Having her as part of our training team gives our young referees a fantastic role model to learn from and to live up to. We wish Stacey and the team the best of luck for their big day at Wembley!"
Jon Pike, Chief Executive of Somerset FA, commented that "Stacey is such a likeable person who gives back so much to the development of young referees in our county. This appointment is thoroughly well deserved for all her hard work and commitment to refereeing. Stacey is a great role model for all young referees,especially female referees. On behalf of all the staff and directors of Somerset FA I'd like to extend our congratulations."
Guy Beale, Vice Chair of the Somerset FA Referees Committee, previous Premier League and FIFA List Assistant Referee was Stacey's first coach. Guy commented: "I immediately recognised her potential and commitment which ensured that I enjoyed every moment working with her as she progressed from Level 5 to Level 3 in three consecutive seasons.
"In the early days we concentrated on her body language, she never dropped her standards regardless whether she was being monitored by an Observer or not. By nailing this attitude of stepping out and refereeing every game the same way, the respect from the teams soon rose dramatically, as everyone knew exactly where they stood when she arrived to officiate as she was never afraid to make the key match decisions with confidence and assuredly.
"Her success so far already makes her stand out as a role model for all referees across all spectrums, not just in Somerset, but across the whole country. She has demonstrated precisely what can be achieved with hard work and commitment. I say so far, because I am sure that with her feet placed firmly on the ground, and maintaining with her current work ethics, Stacey will go on to bigger and better things, which she richly deserves.
Providing some words of wisdom for young referees, Stacey said: "Work hard, keep yourself fit, learn from every opportunity and have a positive and open mind. Most importantly, stick with it and be resilient, you will have games where you don't perform at your best, everyone does, just learn from them and use the support from County FA's and coaches/mentors to take into your next game."
For the Women's FA Cup Final, Lindsay Robinson has been appointed as Referee, as well as being an elite match official herself, Robinson is also the referee development officer at Northumberland FA, charged with helping the next generation of north-east officials improve and prosper.
Robinson will be assisted at Wembley by Stacey Pearson (Somerset FA) and Kirsty Dowle (Kent FA), with Helen Byrne (Liverpool FA) the fourth official.
David Elleray, chairman of The FA referees' committee, added: "The FA referees' committee is delighted to appoint Lindsey, Stacey, Kirsty and Helen to the SSE Women’s FA Cup Final.
"We had no hesitation in deciding that they were an outstanding quartet who fully deserve their selection for this, the highest domestic refereeing honour in the women's game.
"We have every confidence that their skills and experience will add to the occasion and enhance what promises to be an exciting and entertaining Final.
"Once again, The FA is very pleased that the most important domestic women's match will be controlled by a team of high-quality female officials and we wish Lindsey and her team every success and an enjoyable Final."
The Women's FA Cup Final takes place on May 5th at Wembley Stadium. The title is being contested between Arsenal Women and Chelsea Ladies.
Tickets are £15 for Adults and kids go FREE!