Whistle whisperer and the search for Zen

September 30th, 2020
It’s hard to imagine a schoolboy being something of an old hand as a match official, but that’s the package for emerging talent Josh Kerr.
When a couple of mates decided to give refereeing a go, Josh went along for the ride and is now in his fourth season with the flag and whistle, at just 17 years of age.
He also pulled on the boots last year for the Maclean Bobcats, but it’s as an official which is the focus.
“It’s enjoyable and satisfying, especially when it’s a good game and everything flows,” Josh said.
Starting out, Josh was mostly thrown junior and community football assignments – but his skill, knowledge and understanding of how to let a game have a life of its own had him stepping up to centre referee duties for women’s matches.
These days, he’s “pretty much every week in Coffs” for senior men’s duties, and it’s no surprise to see Josh named the Newcastle Permanent Community Award Referee of the Month for August.
The freshly minted Year 12 student said refereeing was challenging when “dealing with players when they are not happy with your call”.
And some of the older heads on the pitch have “looked twice” when they’ve seen such a young man on the whistle.
“But I like it – it’s a fun thing to do,” he said.
And the youngster is dreaming big, though staying very much in the ‘now’, when asked how far he would like to go as a match official: “Being pro, that would be nice”.
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