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Joshua Jacob Bodek (15): Polish referee with ambition

Joshua Jacob Bodek is a young Polish referee with great ambitions for his career, although he only may become a referee in his country at the age of 16. An interview with Dutch Referee Blog: “My name is Joshua Jacob Bodek, I’m 15 years old, I was born in Warsaw where I live and referee. I’m interested in refereeing since 2009.”

Joshua Jacob Bodek during the Iber Cup tournament.
Joshua Jacob Bodek during the Iber Cup tournament.
You did the referee course in 2012. Why can’t you be an official referee?
“It’s all about rules that we still got in Poland. Right now you have to be minimum 16 to be an official referee here, but fortunately Polish Football Association decided to eliminate this limit. The bad thing for me is that it’s too late for me to benefit from this decision, because the earliest possible time for this change is a beginning of 2015. I officially start then anyway. However I’m really happy that other people who would like to become referees in young age will be able to do it, also because of my acitivity.”

Did you manage to get some matches though?
“Yes of course. My Local Referee Association (”Wydział Sędziowski Warszawa”) is very helpful and I’m really impressed of our cooperation. Thanks to their help I referee as an assistant at games where ARs are needed, but they are not official(they are usually fans, substitutes, coaches etc).”

“My last season was very nice. I think, every game I took part, was well handled by me. Last season, I took part of adults game for the first time – it even happend twice. Both times I heard very good opinions about my job from observers. Obviously the best experience were my two first international tournaments: Ibercup Costa del Sol and Ibercup Estoril. The level of football was really fantastic and I met so many fantastic people during this two weeks. I’m sure you will be able to see me there next year.”

Joshua Jacob Bodek next right to Bobby Madley and three other young referees during the Iber Cup.
Joshua Jacob Bodek next right to Bobby Madley and three other young referees during the Iber Cup.

How does your referee association help you?
“I cannot overrate the help from my RA. As I wrote earlier, they enable me to referee as many matches as possible. They also let me to participate in every training session, referees meeting etc. At every step of my referee activity I can count on their help. The help from Rafał Rostkowski was the main point of the changes that will happen soon. He was showing the problem and the solution for years and now he can celebrate the results!”

What are your goals in refereeing?
“For sure my goal is to referee World Cup Final in he future. This is the goal that everyone who wants to achieve success in refereeing must have. Obviously I also hope to meet great people, referee fantastic games, visit fantastic places and get so many fantastic experiences during my career. ”

“In my opinion the way of reaching this goals is very similar for every referee. It’s all about work: physical preparaton, mental preparation and learning from our and others mistakes and experiences. That’s it.”


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