Sian Massey-Ellis: 10 years as assistant referee in the Premier League

Sian Massey-Ellis celebrates here 10th anniversary in the Premier League as assistant referee. Her first game was in 2010 when Sunderland played against Blackpool. In the past 10 years she has shown solid performances and in 2020 she also got appointed for the Uefa Youth League final. In this blog post she shares some great advice for you to move through the ranks and become a better referee. 

Tips by Sian Massey-Ellis are from the Outside the box podcast. Listen to episode.

Be realistic

When Sian Massey-Ellis moved to the top as assistant referee, she was still refereeing at conference level. When she talks about her goals on the Outside the box podcast, she says that’s important to be realistic.

“I was pushing 30 and it would take at least another 4 years to get to the Premier League as referee and I have to go league by league”, she says. Realism is crucial then. You have to look what your chances are, plus do what you love to do. “It was a difficult choice, but I love to be on the line.” 

Have the attitude that you want to progress

She never thought refereeing could become her fulltime job. s. “You have to get a decent score to get to the top of the table and get promoted”, she says. She went up one league at the time, but says that you need the right attitude to progress. “You want the local derbies, you want the cup games, you want to get to the finals. And my passion for that, that you want to be good at something, kind of made me progress. 

Work on your own development

After giving birth, some people thought Sian Massey-Ellis could not get back to the pitch as assistant referee When someone says she couldn’t do it, Sian thought “why not”?   

“I worked hard”, says Sian Massey-Ellis. She always asks herself what she could have done differently to get that decision right. And I think that helped me get through the ranks.”

In 2020 she also got appointed for the Uefa Youth League final with Chris Kavanagh and David Coote. On the FA website she also highlighted how important working on your development as ref and team is. “I think my highlight for us is doing international games together and growing as a team. I am enjoying working on more and more important games and challenging each other to be the best team we can be.” 

How you can make 2021 your best year

If you want to improve as referee, you need to work on your goals, get in the right attitude to progress. In January 2021 I’ll have a special email series which you can subscribe to. It will challenge you to set goals, to get in the right mindset, to get tips from top referees about making 2021 your best year as referee. Want to get these emails? Make sure you tick that box via the form below.


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