Refereeing – “It’s about socialising with the players, coaches and managers”

MWFA Womens Challenge Cup Beacon Hill FC v MosmanFC

“It is a great way to stay involved in the game using my experience in playing and give back a little bit as a referee.”

This is what the 2022 Senior Referee of the Year, Colin Stocks had to say when we asked why he loved refereeing.

Once Stocks’ hung up his playing boots he picked up the whistle full time, giving him the opportunity to continue to be involved in the game he loves.

Stocks is not alone in the player to referee journey as many of the Manly Warringah Football Referees Association referees who officiate games week in week out were once players.

2021 Senior Referee of the Year, Malcom Olsen also made the leap to full time refereeing after finding his passion as a team ref.

“I was enjoying referring more and more and I had done everything I could as a player” Oslen said.

Refereeing has kept Olsen and Stocks involved not just in the game but in the Northern Beaches football community.

“It’s the love of football, getting to know everybody on the Northern Beaches, recognising players growth, building relationships and doing the game to the best of my ability” Olsen said.

“The best part about it is turning up each week and seeing a lot of really capable junior referees either on my line or doing reserve grade because that’s the reason you do it,” said Stocks.

Peter Robson was another man who picked up the whistle 41 years ago and at 91 years of age he still has not lost his passion for the game.

During the 2022 season you would find Robson out on the fields on early Saturday mornings as he refereed the U12 to U16’s games.

“It’s about socialising with the players, coaches and managers, and the fact that I am able to do it is a surprise to me,” said Peter.


As the 2023 season fast approaches so to do the Manly Warringah Football Referees Association (MWFRA) 2023 referee courses.

If you are interested in becoming a referee for the 2023 season, please visit for more information and to register for their upcoming courses.


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