The Westfield Matildas have been the centre of attention for the Australian sporting public over the past week, and now one of Australia’s leading female football referees will be at the centre of a sold-out Westfield FFA Cup 2017 Quarter Final this Wednesday.
Katie Patterson will preside over Blacktown City FC’s crunch Cup clash against the Hyundai A-League’s Western Sydney Wanderers FC at what’s set to be a heaving Lily Homes Stadium in Seven Hills.
While Patterson is no stranger to the Westfield FFA Cup scene having become the first female referee to officiate in the competition in August 2015, she admits that taking charge of a Quarter Final in the competition will be “one of the biggest” games in her career to date.
“I have developed a lot as a ref over the past few years,” Patterson explained. “I have been refereeing in the PS4 National Premier Leagues (PS4 NPL) which is a strong competition, and that has helped me to pick up my game in terms of my fitness, as well as how I read the play and make decisions.”
“Exposure to the (Westfield) FFA Cup has taken my refereeing to a whole new level due to the knockout nature of the tournament. The stakes are higher so you need to up your game and make sure that you are facilitating a match that is fair and exciting,” she said.
Football Federation Australia’s Director of Referees, Ben Wilson, said Patterson’s appointment to this Wednesday’s Quarter Final was based on her strong performances in previous Westfield FFA Cup matches, as well as PS4 NPL fixtures.
“All the female referees involved in this year’s Westfield FFA Cup have had to earn their opportunity,” said Wilson. “There have not been any concessions given or shortcuts taken, and I don’t think they would want it any other way.”
“Katie has refereed in the Westfield FFA Cup for the past three years, and this Wednesday’s Quarter Final between Blacktown City and Western Sydney Wanderers is another chance for Katie to demonstrate her ability to be an (Hyundai) A-League referee of the future,” he said.
Refereeing in the Hyundai A-League is something that Patterson aspires to achieve.
“I really love refereeing the men’s game,” she said. “It’s different to women’s football – not better or worse – it just requires something different of you because of the pace of the game and the speed that decisions must be made.”
“The Hyundai A-League is the top league in Australia and New Zealand and I have been building and challenging myself in the PS4 NPL, so it would be a natural progression to move from the PS4 NPL to the (Westfield) FFA Cup, then on to the (Hyundai) A-League.”
“The (Westfield ) FFA Cup has prepared me really well, so I think I can make that step (into the Hyundai A-League). If the opportunity arises this season I won’t turn it down,” she said.
Blacktown’s Quarter Final against Western Sydney will be broadcast LIVE and EXCLUSIVE on FOX SPORTS from 7:30pm (AEST).
The draw for the Westfield FFA Cup 2017 Semi Finals will be made at the completion of Wednesday night’s fixtures LIVE on FOX SPORTS. The draw will also be streamed on www.theffacup.com.au, as well as www.foxsports.com.au.