Teenage referee nominated for Kids Are Alright Challenge after three years of service to Fenland football

YOUNG football referee Megan Fidler has been nominated for the Kids Are Alright Challenge 2011 after more than three years of officiating matches across Fenland.

The 15-year-old, from Whittlesey, has given up her weekends to referee more than 100 games of youth football - and she says recent controversial comments on female officials have only spurred her on.

“The Sky Sports incident definitely changed people’s perceptions of female referees and their decisions,” she said. “I had a game where I blew for an offside even though the linesman hadn’t flagged and at the end I heard the manager say to his team that I obviously didn’t know the rules.

“I just laughed. It didn’t offend me - I just thought that they were probably jealous because I knew the rules better than them.

“I have had a few comments about me being a woman referee but I just ignore it and get on with the game. I’m quite confident and I’m not afraid to stop the game or be a bit strict.

“There’s more and more girls turning up for refereeing meetings and I think the Sky Sports stuff has spurred them on.”

Megan normally referees two games a weekend - taking charge of youth matches right up to under-16s level.

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“I used to play football but then my team folded. I still wanted to be involved in the game so I took a refereeing course.

“It can be tough with early mornings but once I’m out there I really enjoy it. I’m planning to carry on and when I’m 16 I will go up a level. It would be amazing to referee in the Premiership one day.”

• Ambitious Megan is our final nominee for February. She joins the Parson Drove Youth Club and Neale-Wade Community College’s successful F1 in Schools team, who are also in contention for our monthly prize. The monthly winner - who will receive a trophy along with �50 of high street vouchers - will be announced in next week’s paper.

We’re still searching for Fenland’s young stars. To nominate an individual or youth group either use the coupon on our website or e-mail robert.setchell@archant.co.uk

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