After several promotions, Joel really started to notice the difference in quality of football he was officiating, something he has taken in his stride.
“The level of football has obviously gone up and up and up since I first got promoted. It's more enjoyable to referee as you go up because it's taken more seriously. The higher you go you start to notice those changes and how much more serious or competitive it is.
“Your name gets out there a lot more as well; I was up in London for an event at Selhurst Park recently with my coaching, talking to a referee called Jordan, one of my young players had a go at him and I told the kiddy off.
“So, I started talking to the ref and we were chatting about our journeys as referees, and he recognised me.
“There's been a lot of great highlights for me, last season running the line on Worthing vs. Bognor was a great experience in front of 2,400. Even some pre-season games which, some say they don't matter but to me there as important when your preparing.
“Getting to know guys in the professional game, and them asking me to come be fourth official, I was at Crawley vs. QPR the other day which was nice.
“It shows you what's there for the taking, seeing that level and it gives you the motivation to keep taking it further even just doing a pre-season game at that level.
“Promotions are obviously big deals and getting to Level 3 was huge but to be able to work in front of a big crowd, with good referees, they are the things I remember.”
Aside from tough situations that Joel has touched on, importantly he talks about the scenarios he has learnt from the most.
“The times I've really learnt from are situations where I've just not given myself time to think. When I rush decisions, like giving a penalty that wasn't or whether I've given wrong information to a manager, I know I've just not given myself time to process the situation.
“This is where Ash has had such an impact on me because he will say what he used to be like and how he'll tell me how he reacted to that.
“I know now that when I rush into decisions and it's led to an incorrect outcome, that then has an effect on the whole game. Yes managers have got angry with me, but rightly so because I've cost their team.
“Sometimes as a referee you have to take it on the chin when you mess up. Players are exactly the same when they make a mistake, they have to put their hands up.
“The best way I react to mistakes now, is that I do put my hands up and admit it because I think players and staff appreciate that.
“I have conversations with managers now after games, especially if it's been recorded, and I tell them if I've genuinely made a mistake, I will call you and apologise.
“They don't always show appreciation at the time when you admit mistakes but that's because their frustrated. Later on, in the season when they see you, often reflect on it differently.”
Joel mentioned before about his experience as an assistant referee, but which does he prefer?
“I enjoy all aspects of refereeing; I'd be lying if I said I didn't. I enjoyed doing the line a lot last season and I think that's because I was doing it on the Isthmian League.
“It's no disrespect to the County League because I love refereeing County League games. But doing the line on a Worthing game or a Lewes game, you're working in front of really good crowds.
“It's obviously a higher standard of football, a lot of players there that have previously been in the pro game, and it just feels a bit more surreal at times.
“So, I enjoyed the line more last season but I'll be interested to see how I feel after my first season as a Level 3 because obviously I'll now be refereeing what I was on the line for last season. Equally though I'll now be on the line in the National League South so I've stepped up in that sense as well.
“Whether I see myself going down that route of solely being an assistant, I don't know at this stage. For me, at the moment, it's a case of no matter what role I've got that day, I'm so focused on doing my job properly, so I can see myself going down either route.
“The support I've got from the guys around me, I know they will support me either way, but I'm not going to say what I'm better at because I'll just say neither!”