Young Ballarat referee called up to world stage

Emerging referee talent William Quartermain will gladly leave school work and a Ballarat winter behind to officiate at a major youth football tournament in Paris. 

OPPORTUNITY: Ballarat's William Quartermain has been selected to officiate the Paris World Games as he works towards a career. Picture: Kate Healy

OPPORTUNITY: Ballarat's William Quartermain has been selected to officiate the Paris World Games as he works towards a career. Picture: Kate Healy

The Paris World Games involves 29 countries, 400 teams and 150 referees, with matches played at 27 stadiums in France from July 7-13.

Quartermain believes he is one of only three Australians selected for the international tournament and one of 150 worldwide, a huge achievement for the Year 10 Ballarat Clarendon College student.

It comes after Quartermain was selected in the FFV referee academy in 2017, which he is excited about joining again this year.

The best from the academy progress to a Football Federation referee talent pool, which is a pathway to officiating at the FFA national youth championships.

But it was Quartermain’s experience at the Kanga Cup youth academy that led him to the Paris World Games. 

“I went to the Kanga Cup in Canberra last year and I met a person from Portugal over there who said to register (for the Paris World Games),” Quartermain said.

“I applied, gave a CV to this company and they’ve selected me from there to go to this tournament... I was pretty excited to be honest.”

The 15-year-old, who is in his third year of refereeing, said he was yet to officiate overseas. The tournament will give him a taste of what he hopes will be a career.

While soccer has always been a passion, with Quartermain watching games from a young age, his interest in becoming a referee has only recently developed.

“I’ve always been the sort of person who would yell at a referee or scream at them when they got the call wrong, and now I’m the one being screamed at,” he joked.

“I was goal keeping for Ballarat North and then I got my hand shoved through a window so I couldn’t play anymore. I went to a tournament and just enjoyed refereeing so it took off from there.”

Quartermain is a familiar face on the pitches of Ballarat as a referee for the Ballarat and District Soccer Association. But he also juggles these commitments with officiating for the Victorian National Premier League in Melbourne each week. 

“That is a high standard of football, it’s the next level down from the A-League,” Quartermain said. 

“When I finish school I would love to go over and referee overseas, even as soon as the day after I graduate.”