Something that we ourselves will be promoting soon is the upcoming Sussex RA-FA Youth Council online event which includes guest speakers and activities. Speaking of the event, Billy said: “We have an event online in February with Tim Robinson and Andy Bennett. Any referee can come on and join and the fact it’s online and not in Lancing will hopefully mean we get a bigger turnout.
“They’ll be there to answer any questions and go through a few sessions and a few ice breakers to get everyone involved.
“I think the presentations they’ve led before have been really good and certainly beneficial for me and definitely a good learning experience for anyone who joins.”
There’s a level head on Billy’s shoulders and following his promotion to Level 6, he speaks of his high ambitions whilst keeping it realistic for now.
“It was very pleasing [Level 6 promotion], and it was a long time coming because of the pandemic. I was obviously very pleased because I thought I’d worked hard enough to get it.
“I’m not sure what’s going to happen this year with the promotion scheme, but I’ll be going for Level 5. I’m hoping when the season restarts, I can push on and hopefully achieve it.
“It can happen where you see referees and just think ‘that’s their level’, and I do think I may reach a stage and think ‘that is my level’, but I just want to keep going until I find where that is.
“Even if that is only another level up or the level I’m at now, I will still enjoy refereeing because that’s just what I like to do.
“The end goal and aspiration will always be the Football League and that’s the dream. Whether I make it that far or not isn’t down to me it’s down to a point where I am competing with other people.
“I obviously aspire to get to the highest level but if that’s not the case I certainly won’t stop what I’m doing.”
Billy is a frequent user of REFSIX, our new official refereeing partners, and he explains to us first-hand the benefits it has had on his game: “I started using REFSIX about two years ago when I first got my Apple Watch and it came up as a recommended app.
“I love technology and I’m a massive fan of the benefits it gives you, like the in-depth data and the heat map and things like that.
“As soon as I realised I could get that for every game I thought I could really use it to my advantage. I know if my positioning is right, how fit or unfit I am and just thought it was a really good tool and I no longer have to use a notepad!
“It just makes things a lot quicker, you don’t have to worry about timings and things like that, you can note cards a lot easier.
“You have a free trial that you can access and see all the features like your heart rate and see how calm you were in certain moments and even if you’re not tech savvy, the free trial means you can at least give it a go.”
It is clear from his mentality that Billy is someone always trying to improve and one of the ways he has been doing that has been transitioning as an assistant referee.
“I line on the Southern Combination Football League often enough on midweek evenings and sometimes on a Saturday and it’s always a good learning experience doing that.
“I always enjoy lining the Premier Division games because your put with good experienced Level 4s who, themselves, are lining to Level 3s so you can really learn from that.
“Mainly though I just think the teamwork part of it is really good. I believe it’s important not just in refereeing but as a skill in life to trust people and have good teamwork.”