Michael Hester from New Zealand is an international referee for three years now, but has already officiated during a World Cup.
Part 2 of the interview with Michael Hester on the Dutch Referee Blog.
“I did my first referees course in 1994 at the age of 22 because I was interested in this part of the game”, says Michael Hester. “I continued playing for a few years and refereed some low level matches for my club and some futsal in my spare time. At the age of 28, I decided to commit to refereeing full time and started in my local leagues in 2001.”
Country: New Zealand NZL
Date of Birth: 02.05.1972
Height: 181 cm
Occupation: Naval Officer
Mother tongue: English
International since: 2007
First international: Tahiti-New Caledonia (25.08.2007)
Hobbies: Snowboarding, travel, golf
Fondest memory: 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa 20009 U-17 World Cup, Nigeria Semi Final
Hester: “The Navy have been fantastic in allowing me to balance some meaningful but flexible military roles whilst refereeing at an elite level around the world. I would not have had the success I have had without their support. It does mean for some long nights when I am overseas as I often have to continue working via a laptop and the internet but this probably no different for many top referees. It also helps keep things in perspective – Monday to Friday, I deal with real problems whereas on Saturday it is only football problems.”
“The World Cup was a tremendous experience and a great honour to become the first New Zealander to officiate at this tournament. Whilst I only controlled one match, I fully recognise that I was one of the most junior referees there and, with more experience, my time will come in future tournaments.”
Read the first part of the interview also on the Dutch Referee Blog. The last part will be published later this week.