As the profile of women’s football continues to grow ahead of the Matildas’ long-awaited return to the Olympics, Football NSW is proud to announce a historic news piece.
For the first time in the competition’s history, a match in the PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition will be officiated by an all-female contingent, with well-renowned and respected Westfield W-League referee Kate Jacewicz set to oversee proceedings.
Signifying the increasing message of equality for all that Football NSW is promoting in the sport, the four women will become a part of history when they officiate the round 11 match between Blacktown City and Manly United at Lily Homes Stadium on Sunday.
“I think it’s a fantastic step by Football NSW to allow us the opportunity to have an all-female officiating team,” said Jacewicz.
“It’s definitely in line with FIFA’s new philosophy in terms of men and women being equal.
“Just because we’re female it doesn’t take way from our experience level or our ability,”
Recently recognised as the Westfield W-League Referee of the Year, Kate is one of the country’s best referees. This will be the first time she has officiated alongside a team of female referees in a National Premier League competition, and is looking forward to the match. It will be a highly experienced officiating team that takes to the field on Sunday, with assistant referee Sarah Ho having attended multiple FIFA and Olympic tournaments. Joining Ho will be fellow Westfield W-League assistant referee and Melbourne born Joanna Charaktis and Kelly Jones.
Apart from bridging the gap between men and women’s status within the football community, Kate is also hoping this week’s match will encourage young officials to become professional.
“If we could inspire other young females referees and even male referees to reach NPL level I’d be really happy. It’s a very exciting opportunity for myself.”