Gareth joined the Taranaki Fooball Referees Association in 2004 after playing the game for most of his School years. He was never going to make it to the top level as player so he decided to give refereeing a go.
He started off as an assistant referee and after two years made the decision to take things to the next level so he picked up a whistle and started refereeing in the middle
He was quickly identified as a referee of potential and attended the Stage 2 Referee Development Academy in Napier later that year and followed that up by going to the Stage 3 RDA in 2008.
There he impressed judges and was sent to Canberra to referee at the Kanga Cup – a big international age grade tournament. This has been the highlight of his career so far as he was able to represent NZ Football Referees. It gave him a taste of what can be achieved in the future. He has also been to a UEFA Course in Geneva as part of a team of three and acted as an assistant referee at a professional game in Switzerland in the third division.
“One of the great things about refereeing that I have found is the amount of friends that I have made over the last 5 years. The support that I have had from not only my Referee peers but players as well has been tremendous. There are times where things get tough but there is always someone who is willing to help you anyway they can, and knowing that you have that support is great.”
Gareth is currently living in Hawkes Bay. He moved there from New Plymouth in 2008 to be exposed to a higher quality of football and since then has been involved in the national league. While there he has had a variety of jobs variously working for the Napier City Council at the local Botanical Gardens, on a dairy farm and is now working at a sawmill where the more regular hours allow him to put more time into training and preparation.
Following his move to Napier he was promoted to the national league in 2008. In the short term Gareth wants to get more experience and continue to improve his man and match management skills. His ultimate goal is to become a FIFA Assistant Referee and be selected to represent New Zealand at a FIFA World Cup in the future.