A future star was born over the weekend in the refereeing ranks of the Gold Coast Premier League with Caitlin Troy given the duties in the Sunday fixture between Surfers Paradise and Robina.
Troy became the first locally developed female referee to officiate in the Premier League for over ten years, following in the footsteps of fellow local and FIFA listed referee Kate Jacewicz.
The game itself was a blow out, with Surfers inflicting further misery on Robina in an 11-2 victory. However, Troy said the experience and the support she received on the field made it all the more easier.
“A lot of the players out there knew it was my first game and made it really comfortable for me. We had a lot of jokes out there and it made all the nerves leading in disappear quite quickly,” said Troy.
When reflecting on how she got to where she is now in the refereeing space, Troy said it was the desire to be part of the match and in control that kept her in the game.
“I started playing like most others at a young age and seeing the referees at that time made me want to be in control and in charge. It was one of the driving forces behind my involvement in the referee space.”
Over the years, the Gold Coast has been a breeding ground for referees with a handful making it all the way to the summit of the refereeing circles. For Troy, watching the experienced referees and the learning process has been crucial for her progression.
“Every time I officiate with a group of referees I am constantly learning and seeing the different styles of refereeing that they all bring to the game. It has definitely helped me get to where I am at this point in time,” said Troy.
Football Operations Officer Alan Marquez said that the achievement is just the beginning for not only Troy but many of the talented officials on the Gold Coast.
“Caitlin has deserved her opportunity to take charge of a Premier League game and has shown that hard work always pays off. We have multiple officials also coming through in both the male and female space that will be given opportunities as they develop,” said Marquez.
Andrew Elks, one of the senior referees on the Gold Coast and Troy’s assistant alongside Ryan Stone on the day said that Troy has a bright future ahead if she continues to work hard.
“Caitlin and all our young referees are dedicated and willing to learn at every opportunity. It’s a pleasure to work with them to see how they are growing on their journey,” said Elks.
The sky is the limit for Troy, who has remained humble throughout the whole process and willing to wait for the opportunity if it presents itself for her.
“I would love to continue to go up the ladder as high as I can but there is still a lot of work that needs to be done before that. I am just enjoying the whole experience and doing something that I love,” said Troy.