UPWARD SPIRAL: North Coast Football referee Joseph Majambere is climbing through the ranks..
UPWARD SPIRAL: North Coast Football referee Joseph Majambere is climbing through the ranks.. NCF Publicity

The ideal centre man

A BAD leg injury ended Joseph Majambere's playing career eight years back and now the 36-year-old is rising in the ranks of North Coast Football whistle blowers.

Joseph is the local face of the annual Referee Recognition Week and admits being in the middle is a great escape from his weekday role of finding employment opportunities for those living with a disability.

"Sitting in the office Monday to Friday, you want to get out and do something," he said.

"It's very enjoyable when you have a game you feel you are controlling."

He moved to the Coffs Coast in 2005 from Tanzania after fleeing war torn Burundi with his family.

After playing stints with both Coffs United and the Coffs Coast Tigers, Joseph said becoming a referee was the natural thing to do.

Seeing as he's controlling play from the middle or patrolling a line four days a week, there's no doubt Joseph is keeping a strong connection.

Doing as many games as his fitness allows, he says there are times when he feels like work offers him some respite from refereeing.

"My style of refereeing is fairly laid back, I'm very lenient and do try to see the best in every person.

"I tend to communicate first and address the person."

Joseph admits he hit a big challenge early on as a ref when he offered a red card to a player for racial abuse but the support he received kept him in the whistleblowing fraternity.

"Surprisingly, you would think it was a man but at that point it was a woman.

"What I found was once I explained to North Coast Football what had happened they followed through and discussed it with the club and the player.

"Originally I studied law so justice is one of the things that motivates me and doing the right thing by everyone I think is what makes me a good referee.

"I don't hold a grudge against another person and don't take things personally but if you make it personal then I have to deal with it."



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