A TOTAL of 34 Suffolk Referees have received promotions ahead of the 2023-24 season.
Lowestoft official Callum Walchester leads the way, having been promoted from Level 2B to 2A, meaning he will be able to officiate on the National League.
Brad Mingay has been promoted from Level 3F to 3E, which means he will be able to operate as an assistant referee on the National League.
Brad was the man in the middle for the 2022-23 Endeavour Automotive Suffolk Premier Cup Final, while Callum was the fourth official.
Callum said of his promotion: “Naturally I’m over the moon to be promoted to Step 1 for next season and it proves to me that my pathway choice four years ago was the correct one.
“This is an accumulation of hard work both on and off the pitch over the past few years and I’m looking forward to the next challenge within my refereeing career to try and achieve that next big step onto the EFL National List.”
Brad, who also lives in Lowestoft, said: “I am thoroughly looking forward to the challenges ahead and the new grounds I am going to be fortunate to officiate within.”
Brad Mingay (pictured above holding the Suffolk Premier Cup) has been promoted from Level 3F to 3E. Main photograph: Callum Walchester, who has been promoted from Level 2B to 2A. Photographs: Neil Dady
Alex Shipp, meanwhile, received a mid-season promotion from Level 4 to 3, which means he can referee on Steps 3 & 4 of the National League System, and be an assistant on National League North and South matches.
Three referees have been awarded two promotions during the season – Carl Beer, Daniel McKenzie and George Rampling.
The youngest referee achieving promotion was 17-year-old Ella Karkoska, achieving Level 7 to 6 promotion.
Ella, who took the Referee course in February 2020 as a 14-year-old, has been officiating on both the Thurlow Nunn Youth League and Suffolk & Ipswich League during the 2022-23 season alongside continuing as a player in the Eastern Region Women’s Football League for East Bergholt United FC.
Ella, who is from Ipswich, was appointed as an assistant referee for the Veo Suffolk U18 Midweek Cup Final held at Colchester United's JobServe Stadium.
She said of her promotion: “I am really happy to have achieved my promotion to Level 6 and would like to thank everyone at Suffolk FA who helped get me over the line.”
Suffolk FA Referee Promotions
Carl Beer (second promotion of the season)
Daniel McKenzie (second promotion of the season)
George Rampling (second promotion of the season)
Alexandre Filipe Martins Da Silveira
Suffolk FA Chief Executive Richard Neal said: “Achieving promotion is a significant milestone in any match official’s career.
“All at Suffolk FA send our heartfelt congratulations to all. Their promotion is a reflection of the hard work, commitment, and performance levels displayed over a period of time.
“It would also be remiss of me not to thank those who have mentored, coached, and observed these officials throughout the season and enabled them to achieve this next stage of their refereeing journey.”