SUFFOLK official Chris Pollard has spoken of his delight at realising his dream to become a Football League referee.
He is one of a large number of promotions for Suffolk referees this year, reflecting the progress being made by referees within the county.
The Bury St Edmunds-based official joins a select band of Suffolk referees who have made it to operate as a referee on the Football League. Chris is pictured above (far right) before the Suffolk Premier Cup Final between Lowestoft Town and Needham Market at Colchester United FC in May 2017.
The 36-year-old was officiating on both the National League and the Premier League 2 competitions in 2018-19, but will now take charge of games in League 1 and League 2 next season.
Chris said: “I am absolutely delighted. When I started out 11 or 12 years ago the dream was to be a Football League referee, and so to finally get that promotion is fantastic.
“This promotion takes me into the professional game as a referee and hopefully it will open up lots of opportunities in the future.”
Chris leads a number of promotions within the county this season which include Callum Walchester being promoted to the Panel 2B list operating on the National Leagues North/South for next year, and both Emily Heaslip and Bradley Mingay promoted to the National List of Contributory League officials.
Both Emily and Brad will be refereeing games on the Eastern Counties Premier League (Step 5) through to the Isthmian and Southern Premier Leagues (Step 3) while also assisting on the National League North/South (Step 2).
Suffolk FA Chief Executive Richard Neal said: “Everyone at Suffolk FA is delighted for Chris and we wish him all the very best for another successful season.
“We congratulate all our other referees on their promotions at the end of what has been another successful season for Suffolk officials, and look forward to supporting their continued progression into next season and beyond.”
If you are interested in becoming a referee, you can view available referee courses by clicking here
Alternatively, please contact the Referees’ Department on Referees@SuffolkFA.com
The full list of promotions is as follows:
Promoted to National List of Referees (Football League)
Promoted to Panel 2B (National League North/South)
Promoted to Contributory League of Referees (Football League)
Senior County Referee (Level 5) to Supply League Referee (Level 4)
County Referee (Level 6) to Senior County Referee (Level 5)
Junior Referee (Level 7) to County Referee (Level 6)