Thomas Klein living his dream as a referee


The Kiwi born official and now Central Coast resident was last week appointed to officiate at the Asian Football Confederation Under 14 Festival of Football in Sabah-Malaysia alongside another young and upcoming referee in Northern NSW?s Tim McGilchrist.
Both Australian youngsters will be representing Australia at the prestigious Asian youth tournament that will be played from the 25th of May until the 7th of June in what?s been seen as an amazing achievement for the dynamic duo.
Klein?s efforts were discovered via the Football NSW Premier Youth League Panel, where it was there, his talents were spotted.
Touching on his upcoming Malaysian experience, Klein especially was overwhelmed upon getting the call-up.
?To be honest it hasn?t really sunk in yet but it?s a great feeling knowing that I will be representing Australia at this upcoming tournament.
?It is also acting as a development program for coaches, players and of course referees so this will assist in improving my officiating in a huge way.
?I get to see first-hand how things work in Asia with their specialized officials with this tournament that will be used in identifying up and coming talents in Asia.?
Klein, who holds former Italian superstar referee Pierluigi Collina as his ideal mentor, hopes that he can one day officiate in the A-League and possibly move onto greener pastures refereeing a World Cup.
?It would be a dream of mine refereeing in the A-League and then of course going on from there in officiating in a World Cup.
?But there?s a lot of hard work that needs to be done before I can even think of doing these things.?
One such competition that Klein could be part of is the up and coming National Youth League competition set to kick off for the first time in August.
?This could be a possibility and a great option if it is presented to me in getting valuable experience in progressing towards the next level as a referee.?
Currently in his first year studying Science at Macquarie University, Klein first sort interest in becoming a referee at the age of 12.
?I took a course whilst I was at the Terrigal Soccer Club as a twelve-year-old for extra pocket money and took it from there.
?I thought as a twelve-year-old, what else I could do in earning a couple of extra dollars and this came up.
?I also wasn?t the greatest of players and even though I played for about eight years, I knew it wasn?t for me so having gotten involved with the officiating side of things really worked well for me in the end.?
Klein was born in Wellington, New Zealand and came to Australia at the age of eight in 1997 where he lived in Victoria before moving off to Sydney and finally ending up in Terrigal.
Currently part of the Central Coast Association where Klein officiates various local matches weekly, the youngster had experienced a number of incredible achievements prior to being selected for the Malaysian tournament.
?In 2005 through an application, I officiated in the ?Dana? and ?Norway Cup? in both Denmark and Norway which was a terrific experience.
?I?ve been refereeing in the last four State Titles and won the Referee of the Tournament in the U18?s category at Shoalhaven last year which was fantastic.?
Rest assured, Australian referees are going from strength to strength and with youngster Thomas Klein on the rise, you can be sure that this youngster will certainly leave his mark as one to look out for in years to come in the ?Men in Black? category.
-By Mark Stavroulakis