Blog,  Interviews

Harvey Newstead: “Getting as much experience as possible”

This week’s referee of the week is Harvey Newstead. He’s 15 years old and on the local Centre Of Refereeing Excellence. “The key at this stage of my career is to get as much experience as possible on youth games”, he says in an interview with Dutch Referee Blog.

Hi, please introduce yourself. 

My name is Harvey Newstead, I am 15 years of age and an English referee. I have been refereeing since September 2014 as a young leader and then once I was 14 I became qualifievold in October 2015 and have been refereeing ever since.

Update July 2017: 

I have been involved in football for just over 3 seasons after finishing playing football. In this time I have gained several roles in the game. I am on the Norfolk FA Youth Council, I am the Norfolk FA YRG Chairperson, NCYFL Referee Officer looking at Referee Development, Futsal & Cup Finals. I also have involvement as Norwich Referees’ Association Committee member- focusing on development and being a youth representative to increase the number of young referees in the local society. Lastly, I am involved with a local club in Norwich and am the Horsford Community Sports Vice Chair & Referee Mentor. I am also a football Coach and coach at various clubs and programmes ran in Norfolk.

I have done a lot of voluntary work in football, and I have logged over 1,700+ Voluntary Hours within Norfolk Football and I have only been with the Football Futures programme for 3 Years after starting to log hours in September 2014.

This season has been a very prestigious one for me in Football with my volunteering and Refereeing. I have had nominations for the ‘The FA Respect Awards 2017’ in categories Match Official and Volunteer, ‘The Referees’ Association Joel Richards Young Volunteer of the Year 2017’ and ‘National FA Community Awards in the category Young Volunteer of the Year 2017’. However I was honoured to have been awarded the Norfolk FA and my regional Community Award in the category Young Volunteer of the Year 2017.

Referee Harvey Newstead collage

1,250 voluntary hours as referee

How did you get involved in refereeing? 

I have always had an interest of becoming a refereeing due to my uncle being a Level 4 Referee. And also my older cousin who is climbing up the refereeing ladder almost at level 4. I started by joining the Norfolk FA Football Futures programme after completing my Junior Football Leaders course with the FA when I was 12. This gave me a platform to learn and get an insight into refereeing and also coaching and through support of the Football Futures programme in refereeing and I did my course. The football Futures offer so much support to Referees that want to get started and offer so many opportunities many which are on a voluntary basis this is where I gained so much vital experience to help me before I did my course and I have now reached over 1,250 voluntary hours in Norfolk Football in just over 2 years.

Harvey Newstead with professional referees


Where do you officiate and what does your refereeing weekend usually look like?

I officiate all my games in Norfolk in the NCYFL, NWGFL and school and Norwich City Academy games. I am also currently on my Futsal referees course so have done a few youth futsal games as well. My week normally will be at least one school game every week with training on another night and then Fitness training with Norfolk FA referees on a Thursday night. At the weekend, I normally have a NWGFL match or Futsal for NCYFL. Then on a Sunday I will normally have a game at the Norwich City Academy or a NCYFL match.

Harvey Newstead as center referee

Local CORE program

Do you go to a referee association or train for yourself?

I go a Referee’s association where we have monthly meetings and I have meetings with my mentor and talk about how each month has gone and reflect over games.

You’re a NCFA CORE Referee. Please tell a bit more about this and how it has helped you.

Being selected for NCFA CORE is great. What it is ? It is that National FA run a Centre Of Refereeing Excellence programme for level 7’s downwards with a pathway for them to be promoted and help them develop. For youth referees then, Norfolk FA set up their own Norfolk FA CORE group. We referee at the Norwich City Academy and have different referees come and coach us each week. This is a great opportunity and development for us young referees hoping to progress in refereeing and hopefully then push onto National CORE.

Harvey Newstead coming out of tunnel

Goals for 2017

2017 has just started. What are your refereeing goals for this year? And how are you going to achieve them?

For next season I hope to still be enjoying and loving my refereeing like I am now. And as I will be turning 16, I will be starting to officiate in adult football and possibly for a promotion from Level 7 to 6 in March 2018. So the start of the 2017/18 season will be big for me in my development as a referee and I will achieve this with the great support of my mentor, my referee development officer at Norfolk FA and the football futures programme.

Harvey Newstead on the line

Gain experience

What is the best advice you ever got that made you a better referee?

The key at this stage of your career is to get as much experience as possible on youth games. Make the gradual step into adult football when the time comes. Do not rush to progress up the ladder too quickly as gaining as much match experience as possible is essential.

Finally, as I know you will, keep listening to advice from coaches, colleagues and assessors over time and ask questions when scenarios arise which you are not sure about.- Lee Betts- FIFA Assistant Referee

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