FOOTBALL: Maisy is town’s youngest referee at just 14

Maisy Dalton
Maisy Dalton

GCSE student now officiating in girls’ league games

Maisy Dalton has just become the youngest female referee in Rugby - and one of the youngest in the country too.

Maisy is a talented footballer as well as now a qualified referee

Maisy is a talented footballer as well as now a qualified referee

The Bilton School year 9 student turned 14 in September - the minimum age to qualify - and was the only girl among a room of older boys and men at last week’s exam, which only five passsed.

Maisy started playing football with her male friends at primary school and joined Rugby Town JFC when she was six.

She moved on to play for Coventry City Girls and Southam United boys by the time she was ten - and last year she played for four teams: Leamington Lions girls, Southam United boys, her school boys’ team and Arsenal Ladies PDP.

With her GCSEs starting this year, Maisy decided to drop two teams to free up some time. She currently plays for Southam United boys U14 and her school boys team. If that wasn’t enough, she is assistant to her coach for another Southam girls’ team, which she does before her own training on Wednesday evenings and now referees for Central Warwickshire Girls football league on Saturdays.

Maisy plays for her school boys' team as well as Southam United boys Under 14s

Maisy plays for her school boys' team as well as Southam United boys Under 14s

Maisy decided that her football career was going to change direction and she decided to train to be a referee.

The course ran through summer and when the football season started in September, Maisy was told she needed to referee at least five matches before taking the final exam earlier this month.

To complete the referee course candidates have to be at least 14 and as Maisy only turned 14 just in time for the 2018/19 football season to start, she is currently the youngest girl in Rugby to have completed and passed the referee exam.

Maisy said: “I do get nervous before refereeing a match but once I’m on the pitch my nerves go away.

“I work to keep the game moving and I keep the coaches and linesmen in check.

“I enjoy the idea of being a role model to young girls who are starting out in football, it would be amazing to ref England Lionesses some day.”