For local referee Nathan Shakespear, officiating was something he picked up overseas as a hobby, and trained in when he returned to Australia. Shakespear was overseas for the 2017 Kanga Cup, holidaying outside of his local PS4 NPL refereeing.
While referee Nathan Shakespear was not at the 2017 NSR Kanga Cup, he ranks taking charge of the U/18 Men’s final in last year’s tournament as an experience he won’t forget.
“After having done age groups from U/11’s all the way up and always having that 18’s final there, it never really seemed like an option.,” he said.
“But to be able to go out and do that game was just phenomenal. To be given that opportunity, and that confidence from the Referee assessors and coaches was just fantastic.”
Shakespear first refereed when he was living overseas in Cyprus, taking charge of matches in a social football competition amongst his friends. When Shakespear returned to Australia he decided to continue, taking part in a Level Four course aged 17 and is now in his fifth year of officiating.
“I got dragged into it in the [social competition], and then when I got back home I thought ‘this is pretty fun’, he said, “and so decided to continue on and did a course.”
Overseas on a person holiday in July this year, Shakespear missed the chance to coach the next generation of referees at the Kanga Cup, but insists he will be around in 2018.
“I love Kanga Cup,” he said. If I hadn’t refereed that 18’s game, I’d probably be back to do it.”
“The coaching you get through KC, and the different teams you deal with is fantastic.
It opens you up to a whole new level of football and allows you to really appreciate how diverse the different teams style of play is and how widespread football is as a sport.”
Shakespear is also confident that the Kanga Cup Referee Academy and the welcoming of international referees, is a great learning tool for the next generation.
“I was never a part of the Academy, but in general having the referees coming from places like New Zealand, interstate and even Hong Kong and Portugal is fantastic,” he said.
“Been able to do games with them, and mingle with them is a great experience.”